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god is smoking in a corner of the abandoned gas station

speaking of beauty

of wisdom

of all that i am not

                   sinner, dirty sinner

impure, unforgivable

                   she is laughing now, such a childlike voice for a being so holy

         shaking her head and puffing out a smoke

                   “salvation comes from within, didn’t you know?”

i shook, asking:

                   “how to be saved when your core is so hollow?”

think of pain like a fire. it’s pretty and it is the core of survival

 & it is our origin

but it also burns your house down.

and my fire is a forest fire, unpredictable & powerful. i lit the fire, so it makes sense that the fire is burning me up too. but i’m not a victim. at least i don’t think so.

 i think i’m a bit of a sadist because i’m burning you up too if you get any closer & the thrill is such a high. i feel in control again. i don’t mind the collateral damage in the process, so you should really read the warning signs on me. i can’t really feel anything anymore.

i don’t think god exists anymore.


It’s somewhat difficult to say that we all benefit from the process of suffering, to think that we can learn from it. It’s hard. It takes strength. It is a cliche saying, that if a god existed, such a divine being would not have put any through these sufferings. I don’t think surviving is an act of strength these days. Is it strength or just a survival instinct? Do we try for it, or is it just what comes to us from our animal brains?

If God exists, what does God want us to learn from all of this? What’s the point of being survivors if we are condemned to suffering again and again? I don’t think being a survivor brings out my full potential. The trying circumstances only continue to carve at a gaping hole in my heart left by those who have been gone for far too long now. I don’t know what I’m good at besides being in pain and drowning in shame and guilt. I don’t know what to do but be a “victim.”

So is it strength or is it just.. what’s left of a burned down house?

I want to say that it will be better, I do. But I’m too young to know and I’m not at the end of the road to say for sure. I don’t know what kind of suffering I will have to live through, if I will end on the otherwise as more than just ashes and ruins, what’s left of a burned down house. But houses can get rebuilt. Societies can be rebuilt from the hands of disastrous natural disasters. So I don’t know. I hope I get rebuilt. I lost the lightbulbs and the vintage shade of wallpaper, but at least I have the blueprints. I hope you remember your blueprints. I know you have the blueprints.  

An Than

Seattle U '23

Psychology & Criminal Justice, 2023 at Seattle University, WA
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