Two Poems

In as many ways as children are   Shame mars  

Mom’d heal enough in love remarried   Unable to conceive they found me   In a basket among river reeds  

They took me in my father & mother   Where I grew without want until her temper   Every time I waded out below my waist   In desire so unfamiliar my body wasn’t mine             

Children don’t know why   They step in mines planted unbeknownst to parents   Shrapnel slices the skin of amphibious children   Know they metamorphose   With no idea into who or what or if

Normal in any sense is our parents         

We’re spawned in their waters to swim   Within their inner walls we breathe their inmost thoughts  

Whoever shot John Lennon did the world a favor   Feminists are destroying the family   Dr. King was an adulterer & a communist   A reading from John   Birch   Amen   But I’d yet to learn  

When amygdalae reason   & supremacies preach   Americana’s gospel is a shell   Held to the ear hears   Only one’s own skull echo oceans

Elder Gideon is the author of Aegis of Waves (Atmosphere, 2021) and co-author with Tau Malachi of Gnosis of Guadalupe (EPS Press, 2017). He’s an alumnus of the 2021 Community of Writers, directed by Brenda Hillman, and a professional artist showing sculpture this fall with Verge Gallery’s Open Studio Tour in Sacramento. A veteran English teacher-activist and leader of a gnostic tradition, Gideon lives from metaphysical urgency. He is queer.