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.