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My undying bride, I’ve memorized
The night of our covenant, the day of our betrothal
You walked down the aisle
Full of faith, null of blame
You even fell to your face, as you approached the alter
Faltering not, but altering your approach
Not above reproach, but not wanting to encroach too quickly upon the beauty of our matrimony
The ceremony felt so natural
The presiding night sky officiated the proceedings
The assembly dressed finely as the shore, and shone as distant suns
I wrote my vows on the numberless stars and countless sands
Placing on hands a token of flesh, our rings of a certain size - our offering
The twilight minister opened his mouth
“Do you solemnly swear to
carry this covenant
To be one – a people and a father
A breath and a life
A keeper and a follower
A husband a wife
Through toils, strife and unseen infidelities
To lands of fornication
Distant nations of adultery
Do you solemnly swear
To follow each other there?”
We declare, “I do”

Oh bride of the garden
I made a promise
To be your God
And make you my goddess
You ask in your shame
Will he love me the same, though I’ve been untrue
Will he give me his name
I will and I do

You turned to me
Our consummation consumed a nation’s army in its depth
Our honeymoon stepped through death to life on dry ground
Our pledge plodded into the Promised Land
We prodded prodigal man’s riches into our clutches
Our love was a prodigy, none could understand, but began
Prompting trials through the judges
Our journey became a chronic chronicle of packing and unpacking luggage
When you endured pain’s touches and the way was obscured my strength allured you, but
When your wealth was assured and your boarders secured you were lured away from me, into idolatry
Lusting after kings
Undressing for gold
Bearing your chest
Opening your legs
For a foreign guest
I witnessed it all
You sprawled out for other gods
Other lovers, other frauds
Running from bed to bed
Land to land
Man to man
God to god
Snare to snare
You ask me, “Do you dare follow me there”
I declare, “I do”


You returned to me
We turned to building our dream home, roamed from Bethel
Head stones turned to corners and pillows to a temple
Our abode was restful
Yet we began to wrestle, I guess that’s why I call you Israel
For our love is a struggle
You smuggled other lovers into our humble home
Dressing them up in my clothes – I’m pacified
It was all too real, but you both faked it – You’re gratified
Selling yourself to the highest bidder – Classifieds
I longed for intimacy, but you were already satisfied
You ratified your dressed-up harlots
Calling them
Praise and Worship
Religious equipment
Dogmatic enlistment
Naming them worthy of my name’s employment
You ran after creeds and security
Doctrines and rigidity
Rigidly quoting your prayers
You ask me, “Do you dare follow me there”
I declare, “I do”


You returned to me
I poured out my blessings equally across your blessed curves and deformed torso
I took you home, leveling hills and valleys so none were more so
Morsels, I gave you as morals: just right. Never too little or more than enough
But my portions were never enough
You forced out equality
For four course blessings
Enforced poverty, building fraudulently endorsed armories
Outsourced charity, for horse drawn chariots
You traded the poor
Trained for war
Strained for glory
Abstained from my adoring
Pouring yourself into riches
Adorning yourself with splendor
Abhorring my selfless wishes
Ignoring your rewarding as my heir
You ask, “Do you dare follow me there?”
I declare, ”I do”



from Return Return, released April 11, 2011



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David Bowden Poetry Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

David Bowden started writing his first poems at 19 after an encounter with God on a road trip to Chicago. Since then he has been using spoken word poetry to exalt the Bridegroom and beautify the bride. David currently pastors a house church under and within Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, where he lives with his beautiful wife Meagan and cat Dexter. ... more

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