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Illumination by Methane

by Frater Enatheleme


A poem about abusive behavior and cover-up that I have experienced and witnessed in my 20 years of membership in Ordo Templi Orientis. 


You’ll see the photographs
streaming by as you try not to look:
that one who scratched at your face as she screamed at you; 
that one who laughed as you told him your struggles; 
they’re all doggy smiles now, and lovely with each other.

You won’t see the one who always, always
grooms young women,
pressing against them with his
magical degrees, so called—
he doesn’t like his photograph shared.

You’ll hear that it was a wonderful time,
and,
despite what you’ve heard
there’s no telling what might have happened.

As you’ll feel for yourself,
the one who complained is making drama:
A drama llama, they like to say through twisted grins.

They’ll tell you it’s not real—
What your friends say, how they were broken.
The only truth is in situations manufactured.
In reality, as they define it.

Falsehoods flow by mysteriously,
summer stenches in the night.
You’ll try not to uncover the source—
even as they begin to fill your own mouth,
bitter water
you convince yourself is sweet.


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