The Choice

by Camilla Jean

“You don’t actually believe that, do you?”
he said then,
casually appealing to the vanity of my intellect.

I did not answer,
though I knew what he wanted me to say.

Then he turned to face me, on the dry pier
over the dark water on that hot summer day.
His face and body turned to pitch black before the blazing light
that surrounded him, pure fire.

The whole cityscape transformed behind him
into a deserted playground
of untouchable metal bars and slides,
conspicuously without the single life of a child,
surrounded by an impossibly tall chain-link fence
on all sides.

There was no time.

Hadn’t he shown me, impressed me,
many times
in angled words,
the black script across the large, fingered pages
he’d wave about, licking his thumbs and smudging things up,
rustling the papers that whispered to me:

“this is where the secret lies”?

And occasionally one fell and slipped to the floor,
crashing with great effect and sliding wide and flat,
for the seemingly small offense.

Do you reject Satan and all his false lies?

My heart was tight with pain.

I felt it would break and I would die,

and there was nothing left…

But to cry: “I do believe! I do!!!”
from the top of my burning lungs.

And I clung with my life to my God,
knowing full well,
with heart,
which was all that was left,

(and all that was right anymore)

that there was no other choice.

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