Leviticus

By Christos Floratos

I have been dispossessed of all artefacts,

In this house as fragile as gold.

The time springs to start my own rituals,

To circle my fourth finger as

             Each rotation, a new thornier flower blooms.

_

The blade of Winter left but it’s chill never aspired too.

Its was only my fear of new, the unveiling of roots and

The blossoming of trees that aroused my anxiety in lieu.

             Setting fire to the past anchors me to Styx.

_

I am rigour and esteem,

The ego of the rainbow to show its pride

But the regret of a martyr to have died.

The book of instructions and the deviance of stillness;

             Both discourses are their own restriction.

_

But what is the value of chain’s rust?

Why, God casted a flood and plagued the Egyptians.

And then not-so-soon after, decreed a Golden adjust.

             How can this land claim dryness in the presence of mud?

_

I am no Leviticus spawn,

Burdened by codes, strings, and separation.

No structure permeates my being.

Not to validate my being, for breathing is joyful enough.

             Must I listen to the faculty of slaves?

_

For I am an ocean for the plunder that knows no season.

Plundered like the adulteress in those sacred rules.

Whom “musn’t be touched on the month’s most tension”

             Decreed by the lord.

_

Listen to Leviticus

The condemning of the unscaled that

Drench our waterways.

They mustn’t be ate. Silly thing.

             Starve yourself.

_

Sew your skin with ink and caresses.

And if poverty has stricken you like a dull blade,

Pigeons shall suffice, or a young dove’s distress

             in the effort to be clean.

_

What biblical decree brings us here?

To the last stanza, this last breath of air.

Lay with a man, and be unclean, you sinner.

Throw stones in the air, don’t catch as they fall.

             Bleed, a stuck-bull.

_

But of course, nothing is ever done. 

What prison prevents you from purgatory?

All sins are consistent as the setting sun.

              No questions? No question.


Author’s Comments:

This poem is critique and defence against the book Leviticus in the Old Testament. This Old Testament book is used in several ways. Historically, it’s been used as a way to pass down codes and mandatory things that priests, worshippers and laity must do. More recently, there is a quote that is commonly used from this book to invoke homophobia in Christian denominations. The poem when understanding this becomes two parted. One becomes my own reflections on this homophobia that comes out and the second part becomes a critique on the various other things that Leviticus tells people to do that is not followed. One of them including eating shell-fish.

The ego of the rainbow to show its pride
But the regret of a martyr to have died.

Stanza 3, Lines 2 – 3

When I claim that no structure is in charge of me, I’m really saying in a poetic way “I’m a boss ass bitch.” I don’t like the idea that Leviticus is stakeholder in the control of sexuality and I make it clear that I am happy and don’t need to listen to arbitrary codes. The ‘regret of the matyr’ is, like the ‘Blade of Winter’ a reference to my previous straight sexuality, which is gone.

For I am an ocean for the plunder that knows no season.

Stanza 6, Line 1

How this contributes towards the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ collection is that my sexuality was a period much like Autumn for me, but not in the traditional angst of acceptance type-of-way. More so, about my cyclical challenge of the bible as a defence, which was written in a time period and language much different from ours and translations and context are always changing. This is why I mention the faculty of slaves which in the time of Leviticus writing, was a common thing to have. But now the slaves I refer to is the unquestioning loyalty. At the second last stanza, I do a little trick with the audience, saying that this is the last stanza. Shockingly, it isn’t the last stanza. It and the last stanza is a representation of continuous discussion over this

What biblical decree brings us here?
To the last stanza, this last breath of air.

Stanza 9, Line 1 – 2