Peer Review by r|A|i|N (United States)

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Back Pew Confessional

By: Dani A. Remlap


My mother told me
Save your confessions for church
But you smiled
The light fell across your face just right and
I couldn't tell the difference between you and a cathedral
And I confessed
I confessed
I confessed
Sin sits on my tongue
Like sacrament
Metallic with the taste of iron
I spit it out
When I do, when I reject it
Does it count?
(Eve wants to know)
Is it too late to take it back?
I take it back
My palms are empty
I can't take it back
My lips taste of pennies 
Bitten raw
My lips taste like repentance
And I wonder
Can you love me?
Can you forgive me?
Is there a difference?
My God, my God
Why have you forsaken me?
(Maybe I'm the one who left)

Message to Readers

Okay, I published this forever ago but a good friend recently pointed out where it needed work. So enjoy, comment, and review please.

Peer Review

this poem is beautifully drawn together to make for a raw and real read. the slow cycle into confused questioning rendered me speechless, and i was struck by the powerful ending statement: "why have you forsaken me? / (maybe i'm the one who left)". the dynamic between god and the narrator, which becomes clearer throughout the course of the poem, is given a masterfully told arc. i loved your formatting, beginning with advice from an outside context and slowly drawing more in on the narrator's personal thoughts and feelings. this intense and introspective poem left me captivated.

this poem is meant to depict the thoughts of a person, and consequently it feels confused and jumbled around - a tone i think works really well. there are a few instances, however, when i was confused about what the main plot point was. my major question is: who is "you"? passages at the beginning of the poem, such as "the light fell across your face just right" would suggest a romantic dynamic between characters, perhaps a teenage crush. however, by the end of the poem, "you" has become god, to whom the narrator is pleading. i understand that this transition of character might have been intentional, but i was confused by it and left without a satisfactory grasp on what the poem meant or what its intentions were. there were a few other lines that also felt scrambled in, such as "eve wants to know" or "when i do, when i reject it / does it count?" i really didn't know to what you were referring in either circumstance or what it added to the poem. consider clarifying in revision.

Reviewer Comments

this powerful poem is masterfully executed as well as beautifully told. it has so many interesting double-meanings and comparisons that i reread several times. great work, and i'm looking forward to reading more of your writing.
if any of my highlights or answers were vague or unclear, feel free to ask for clarification! i wrote a few of the highlights without properly editing them and if any of them don't make sense to you, i would be happy to explain.
great work!