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Poetry & Art

Possessed

You say there is an evil spirit inside me that must be exorcised. 

My response to you is that you are correct. 

The Spirit of inauthenticity. 

The Spirit of fear. 

The Spirit of daring not to be powerful. 

The Spirit of self-hate. 

The Spirit of lack of self-esteem. 

The Spirit of not loving my curves, thighs, and thickness. 

The Spirit that drives me so far from my true self I scream because that person I’m in bed with hates me, despises me and doesn’t trust me. 

I roll overlooking her dead in the eyes and only see death, sadness, and hurt. 

The evil that resides contorts, manipulates and seizes all voluntary control she wished she possessed but allows fear to consume her. 

The evil spirit you speak of burns of wasted flesh because the space I take up is pointless. 

I wear a mask that feeds the evil spirit all that it needs to prosper. 

It needs lies. 

The lies I tell myself at night because evil has a funny way of looking more comfortable and more home than freedom. 

Freedom became the darkness I dreamt of. 

The evil eats away at the darkness feeding my insecurities more and more. 

Freedom is the lie evil told me. 

I crumble to freedom. 

I am lost for words— speechless or shall I say helpless. 

The evil you speak of inside me made a home and it’s me. 

The evil inside me creeps waiting for freedom to knock at my door, but instead I did not recognize it. 

Freedom called and I declined. 

For I scream to the top of my lungs but evil has a way of molding illusions. I saw freedom, but instead I was dragged and forced to drown in the tears of my broken dreams. 

The dream of one day being free. 

This evil has a name. 

This evil you speak of— queer 

Queerness 

My queerness is the evil you speak of. 

All I can say is thank you for you have named the thing that has set me free. 

Inauthenticity is afraid of authenticity. It is afraid of queerness. 

We will name the evil spirit and release it into the world for all to see and be blessed by the spirit that overcame me and introduced me to an alternative way of living that is blessed and true. 

Set me free to see me for the first time in a long time. 

So call that spirit forth. It will be happy you did. 

I sure enough am. 

My queerness stands tall— unchecked and unfiltered. 

Freedom called. 

Queerness called. 

And this time I answered. 

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by Nordia Bennett

Nordia Bennett (she/they) is a womanist scholar and holistic spiritual educator. She went to Denison University and Union Theological Seminary where she recently received her Master of Divinity.

Nordia believes the revelation of God is here and now on earth waiting to be experienced. Our human experience invites us to participate in our human reality through pleasure. It is her joy to design immersive participatory experiences where community can be cultivated where people can have the freedom to make "different" choices will new knowledge.

When Nordia is not working she enjoys a cozy cafe drinking an iced matcha latte with oat milk, nature, and binge watching the latest Netflix show.

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