By Sarah Horner
Godhood is just like girlhood: A begging to be believed.
Pearly drops pour down rouged cheeks—we
are prettiest when we cry. We are young and
sweet, fresh like the baby’s breath blooming out
back. Sometimes we experiment with mascara,
standing in our mother’s bathroom and combing it
through our lucky lashes. But it never really lasts—
there is always the disappointing smudge. We wonder
why our fathers stopped hearing us when our bodies
rounded out, ripened, unwillingly, like the fruit in
the bowl on the table. Now that everyone wants
to sink their teeth into our shiny flesh, it is no longer
sacred, no longer special—never mind what we want.
So we gamble and get hurt and go looking for attention,
ceaselessly searching for secrets to keep. We choke back
our sickness, so as not to be selfish, and pray the rosary
each week, our heads pointed at our feet. We are careful,
fingering each bead delicately, asking for forgiveness—
we know our silence, our obedience, is what makes us divine.
Sarah Horner is a poet and writer whose work explores themes of femininity, mental illness, religion, and the troubling thing we call existence. She currently attends the University of Minnesota where she studies literature, works as editor-in-chief for The Tower: Art & Literary Magazine, and frequently ponders a future in the arts. This is her first published poem.
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