before I was born

I was a patient man

I waited eons

for something to happen

but who was counting?

not I

not I

not I is what I say

never believing it

all the way

I am patient most days

after suffering

into some truth

your sins make you

more like me

I move away from my past

as a man walks backwards

from a coiled snake

I know to punch holes

in the bottom of the bucket

my skeleton has forgotten

how to host

I hold my breath

bite the insides of my cheeks

crush my tongue in the belief

my head would be happier

with nothing within

I am a patient

willing to suffer anything

so long as it is I

who does the suffering

before I was born

I did not crave

I envied no one

dead or living

I was leaner

than the wind

Jacob Friesenhahn teaches Religious Studies and Philosophy at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. He serves as Program Head for Theology and Spiritual Action and for Philosophy.