From the Anthology 

Breaking the Silence

sediment & iron

by John C. Polles


You were God—

So i bent my knees at

the Altar of Us,

the Future,

of Possibility.

You were God—

So i drank Your Blood at

the Altar of

what could have been—

should have been.

Maybe even What Would Have Been.

You were God—

So i brought offerings—

so many parts of me—

and left them at the Altar of

finally feeling Complete.

You were God—

So i kissed Your Feet—

washed them in my tears—

dried them with my hair—

at the Altar of

finally not being


Like i could be loved again—


by the Once & Future.


But then—

and not for the first time—

I left the church

when I remembered that

genuflection just wasn’t for


And it wasn’t easy to forget—

not easy to forget the capitulation,

staring up at you,

12 feet tall.

But now—

but now—

I know that those feet I kissed,

bowed before so many times—

They were

molded only from the most

malleable clay—

just sediment & iron.

That the god I built out of you—

He was an illusion.



But I can see—

I can see now that perhaps

I wasn’t so easy to

forget, either.

And so you return,

trying to again grow




Author Bio

John C. Polles is a freelance editor from Northeast Ohio. A graduate of Kent State University at Stark, he previously served as Editor-in-Chief of Canto: A Magazine for Literature & Art. His poetry has been published by Kissing Dynamite and Nightingale & Sparrow; his short story “Lovehandles” appeared in Luna Negra and was excerpted by Fusion Magazine. You can follow John on Instagram @johncpolles.