Word came to me
that the day after I quit,
he bought pizza for everybody.
Though the words were never spoken,
they all knew
it was a he’s finally fucking gone party.

Despite the pandemic’s becoming more normal
the church–while I was still attending–
wanted to maintain social distancing protocol,
a directive from the bishop.
I had been volunteering as an usher
for at least a year,
trying to do my duty
as an at-the-time-member of the Catholic Church.

Problem was the congregation.
Many of them don’t think
that the bishop is conservative enough
and that they’ve already been saved
despite not spiritually reading the Bible anymore.
These people
who supposedly believed the same as me
would say
this is where I normally sit
so this is where I’m going to sit
without any concern for me
or anyone else,
yet still saying
they’ve given themselves wholly to God.

Makes me wonder
if the pope himself asked for help
in keeping everyone safe,
would they still spit in his face?
What if it was Jesus?

Of course, 
this was also the time
when my silent yearning–
my greatest spiritual villain–
finally moved on with her life
(supposedly) closing the door
on our story forevermore.

I had so desperately hoped
she would reach out
just one more time.
I wronged her bad,
but true forgiveness
is just too hard for some people.

And then there was
that annoyingly tragic raven (sorry,
but I always made it clear
there are no limits in June)
If you had just given me the space
I was practically begging for,
maybe love could have found a way.
Or, at least, friendship

Meanwhile, the spineless one
simply watched like a bobble-head
as his colleague
subtly derided and degraded me,
that friendship being more important
than preserving the dignity
of another human being
ready to jump off a cliff.
Or worse.

They say we become
like the five people
we’re around the most.
I may not have spent
actual time with all these individuals
but they still dominated my mind,
so what’s the difference, really?

And it’s also worth wondering
how powerful any of these people
would be without the others.
That’s why it’s important
to be kind always.

It’s not that I don’t have
good people in my life.
They’re just the bartenders
or friends along the same journey,
the family far way (but only sometimes)
or the similarly broken and flailing,
all of whom can only support me
by picking up the pieces of me
at the bottom of the cliff,
and good for them for doing that much.
If only they could be at the source of the problem.

No, what I’m missing
is a catcher in the rye
to save me from jumping off the cliff,
or the people who would ignorantly let me walk off,
or the men
who would push me off.