When I Met You

 
 

'When I Met You' is an excerpt of Jonathan Brower’s writing from the play script, That Power, co-created with Ari Paranthahan. The poem debuted as part of the live theatre performance of the show on October 3, 2018 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in St. Catharines, Ontario. 


When I Met You

A nude body changes everything.
When I faced the goodness
and frailty of you
when I started listening
to what you dear body were telling me
you screamed at me

You torturer!

For years I filled you with junk
to make you undesirable
so I wouldn’t go on Grindr
or to the queer clubs
so no one including me would want you.
The more disgusting I felt
about you
the less I was a danger
to my theology.
I’m sorry.

But we are fair my love, we are fair

But I shut up your springs
and sealed up your fountain
because you wanted me to love men
to trust how I felt
so I didn’t believe
you were leading me to God.

I am a part of the divine, part of your connection

I put you in bondage.

I have been here all along

Dear body
I remember you
I face who I am, the naked truth
and in my nudity

Kyall appears, catching my glow
My Hermione Granger
My nose in a book love
My young outside, old timey spirit
Exuberant arms raised in the air
Praising every bite
Of life that he can chew

Nature his rhythm, my agnostic seer
I went down to the garden of nuts to see the vegetation of the valley
To see whether the vine had budded
And the pomegranates had bloomed
before I was even aware
We were each other’s
And blessed was the only word I had
As an offering to my body, mind, soul and spirit
For aligning in that moment
To follow him into the waters of our love

And though my language Biblical, his scientific
We make evolution look like an act of God
I am transfigured under his spell
And I see myself for who I am
And he is looking towards forever
Not my saviour, not my rescue
Not divine, neither of us
Nor would we want that
Just lovers, destined to be different

And we draw love from the same well
That we built
With the water that flowed over
When I outgrew my container
That could not hold back
the wine of Dionysus poured in
or the stories of others
Who had come into our lives
And didn’t fit the mold
Nor the radical stage on which we met
Nor the truth that unequal yokes
Make better hollandaise anyway
And as the questions pushed at the walls
geysers of complexity shot skyward
bursting forth the revelation
Of us together

And now our well is open
To all who come to drink
Who have overflown the banks
Of expectation


 
IMG_0399.JPG

Jonathan Brower

Jonathan (he/him) is a theatre artist, writer, and producer who uses art as a vehicle for education and activism. Initially called to full-time church ministry, after coming out in 2012 he co-founded and led Third Street Theatre for six seasons; a company dedicated to the positive reflection of queer culture, stories, and voices on Calgary stages. He holds drama and communications degrees from the University of Calgary and is currently pursuing a master’s in social justice and equity studies at Brock University. His thesis project, That Power (co-created with Ari Paranthahan), is a theatrical exploration through the possibilities and limitations of queer religious agency in Christianity and Hinduism. His other works, oblivion (Third Street Theatre), which illuminates the pain and complexity of trying to reconcile Christian faith and sexuality, and Good Hands (Theatre of the Beat), about the power of church policy on sexual minorities, tour in faith communities interested in engaging in dialogue about LGBTQ2+ inclusion and social justice.