In the Name of Adam
by Ash Williams

Runestone, volume 10

None of it was ever done in His name: the chapel
encasing saints in her swollen belly,
the hands bound by holy thread reaching for the heavens,
the hymns rupturing up from deep within our souls
as our ancestors did to ease the pain of lashes on dark backs,
or the cool pool water cleansing our eyes,
rebirthing us in His light.

Not even when we wrestled to find
our final dime in our pockets,
believing it was for a good cause,
only to build a jagged fence
built by the thorns of His crown,
mocking the people plunging needles
into veins on God’s steps, reminding them
we would never help you sinners,
even though they needed us most

Not even when we rose with the sun to pull pantyhose to our waists
that wouldn’t hit our ankles again until supper’s cusp
holding our piss to hear long-winded teachings,
even though we risk our bladders rupturing in our pelvises
and our kidneys collapsing behind cages of bone

Not even the sermons preaching His word,
actually apple cider rich in sin,
Its juice running down the pastor’s face
as he turned God’s word into greed
like Jesus turning water into wine,
urging us to love thy neighbor and judge them not,
unless they practice their faith outside the chapel walls,
unless they pray to someone other than Him
unless ROYGBIV stains their closet walls
and unless they dare hold a hand other than a black hand

Pastor, none of it was ever done in His name
Instead of being his vessel,
your sin shedded the skin of the holy
like a snake undergoing ecdysis,
revealing a Man’s skin charred by hellfire,
spewing his corrupt flames onto others,
damning them both to eternal agony

So no, none of it was ever done in His name,
but rather in the name of Adam


Growing Apprehension by Alexis Carter


Marshall University

ASH WILLIAMS (they/them) is a junior at Marshall University. They are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in creative writing. Some of their previous work has been nominated for the 2023 Maier Writing Awards and the 2023 Wallace E. Knight Excellence in Writing Award by Dr. Sara Henning at Marshall University. The genre they enjoy writing the most and spend the most time on is poetry, but also enjoy writing horror and fantasy fiction and occasionally creative nonfiction. After graduation, they plan to pursue an MFA in creative writing, hoping to become a college professor and writer.

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