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"Fire & Brimstone" by Sol Kim Cowell

I wear my sin like a sinner does, like

I was born to it.

I was never cast out, because

I was never in the garden to begin with;

I never repented my Original Sin.

I saw Lucifer’s lipsticked grin and

I told him, give me more.

I told him, let’s have fun.

Bite the apple.

Kiss the snake.

Signed my name in blood,

sold my soul without a second glance.

Mummy’s crying for you, he crooned,

she’ll pray for you every night.

But no number of prayers can save the damned,

and I’ve damned myself willingly.

There’s no me without him, anymore —

we dance to the infernal percussion of crackling hellfire,

and we kiss like the Ouroboros swallows

his tail, no end and no beginning.

When the Judgment comes, I’ll burn brighter

than any of Heaven’s angels — me and my kin,

carrying marks upon our skin,

and they’ll call us monsters and predators. (They already do.)

And we’ll set this world ablaze with our love,

scorching the earth until all that’s left is

children of fire and vengeance. As we paint

the streets with furious music,

we’ll chant in unison: We just wanted to be.

A word from the author: An experimental endeavour into religious imagery surrounding LGBT+ themes. My mother is a devout Christian, and arguments with the Sunday school teachers were ubiquitous throughout my childhood.


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