Me & God

When I was six I asked my mom,
who do you love more,
God or me?
She said "God." 
Sadness washed over me
like rain dripping from grapes,
and before I asked why,
she said,

I want you to imagine
how much I love you,
how I don't know
how I breathed
before I had you,
how I had no idea
there was that much love
living inside me,
until I kissed your small forehead.
Imagine, that all this love
is but a molecule
of god's love for us,
just know that in loving God,
I am giving you more love.

I imagine boats filled with refugees,
half drowning in the Mediterranean,
filled to the brim with hungry children.
I imagine their mothers loving them
endlessly, but not enough to bring
the boat to the shore.

I imagine my mother's body,
a sacred gift, ravished
from the inside out with cancer,
her saying, I don't want to live
if I can't walk, and dying the next day.

I used to think, this is God,
broken boats and dead mothers,
but what if God is the girl that swims
and pushes the boat to safety?
What if God is the voice
coming out of my mouth
telling my mother to let go,
we will be ok?

What if God is the insistence
to understand killers,
to recycle plastic,
to give strangers a room in your house?

I have so many doubts about love, 
and I willingly hide it in my pocket
when I'm hurt,

but I keep walking towards it,
and trying not to look back.

Mark Doss