Submitted by a dear friend, Olivia Ciotta. A deep reflection on Gomer.
For the cruelest joke was what they named me.
For though my name means “complete,”
I have never felt like enough.
For the love that they offered was counterfeit
And you had to jump through hoops to earn it.
So, it isn’t any wonder that I never felt worth it,
Because I could never jump very high.
And I can’t deny that I longed for their acceptance
The way a starving, stray cat longs for tables scraps no matter how disgusting.
And in trusting them for my affirmation,
I merely opened my heart up to the laceration of their rejection
Because I was an addict
And their abuse was my heroine.
Even when I drained the cup of their approval
Their removal from my life was not an option,
Because I needed their flattery to breathe
Even if it left my throat dry.
And I... all I wanted was to be pretty.
But they told me that “pretty is as pretty does”;
So, beauty became a touch not a word,
And I became their puppet.
I told myself I loved it.
For although they called me “whore”
What more could I want than to be idolized?
But I recognized the lies I whispered in my head
As I slept in the beds of strangers.
And my tears hit the ground with a sound
Not even I could hear my sorrow.
I had long tuned out my pain.
For to name it was to claim it as mine,
And damage doesn’t sell as well as apathy.
But in time, my numbness became my ecstasy.
And while they touched me with their bodies,
There was only so much they could take.
But my mistake was believing that I held the high card.
For their disregard for my heart was higher than I expected.
And to be unaffected by such a wound
Would mean to be entombed with a beating heart run through completely.
“Completely”-that of all things-
Is what they named me.
Gomer- a misnomer really.
The only complete thing in me was the degree to which I’d been broken.
I’ve spoken openly with You.
You, who claim to love me.
As You can see from my story,
I’m a skeptic.
So, forgive me if I don’t believe You.
Truth is not a category I possess
And I guess neither is love.
So, get rid of this notion that You have something I need.
Because emptiness only requires space to breathe
And as for me, I don’t trust You.
What does trust even mean?
Your eyes are too clear to blame it on drink
So, I think You’re just crazy to say that You love me.
See, I cringe at the thought that love can be given,
But not bought at a price I could afford.
Who are You to give so freely,
To one such as I?
Whose stomach is swollen with all the lies I have been forced to swallow.
Who is hollow like a honeycomb
Licked bone dry by the greedy tongues of ones who come out only at night.
What light can You shine on such sinister places?
What water can cleanse faces so sullied with shame and regret?
Can You forget all of who I am
And still claim to love me?
I’m too filthy to wear white.
A whore can hardly be a bride.
And I’ve been touched too many times to ever be considered pure.
There’s no cure for my condition of faithlessness.
But You care less from my diagnosis of being beyond repair.
And Your stare tears asunder my walls of self-protection.
And I am left in an ocean of a feeling I can’t identify.
But Your eyes speak of safety
Amidst waves I can’t control.
You hold my heart of barbed-wire
In hands that have scars of their own.
And this imperfection makes You seem much more perfect-
A defect that reflects my shattered soul.
And a love that hung on to make me whole.
The shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
And in Your love,
Gomer is made wholly complete.