From the Altar

From the Altar

The years it takes to craft a suitable altar

can leave permanent scars, cracks that linger

in the heart of women who just want

a lit candle and a respectable bow of the head,

then to be left alone to bask in the warmth.

Why then must she be silent and resilient

when others criticize her placement of the cloak

around her shoulders or the roses on her head?

I never fashioned myself a goddess,

offerings from swine make me tremble.

Yet, the vulgarity no longer phases me

when spat from the lips of men.

It hurts more when my sisters scowl

in my direction, as if I want to be gawked at.

But still I try to explain that I have no shame

when I know that they will try to desecrate me

whether I hold a crucifix or a calavera,

no matter if the cloak hangs off my shoulder

or obscures me entirely, they will stare and cast a stone

should I refuse their touch.                                                                                                                                                               

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