by Louie Anne
she bows her head every night, knees to the floor; whispering
prayers. Blasphemous promises and
words of worship –god in its absence. she doesn’t even understand
a single syllable, yet she chants with great pronunciation;
duolingo might need to take notes. in just two months, almost fluent.
even saints sin. under the protection of incognito mode, she forgot
that her headphones were unplugged; revealing the smut
spewing from her speakers. beats of unrecognizable breaths,
copyrighted instrumentals, and the eerily-familiar groans;
only a few seconds was heard –enough to color her cheeks with shame.
they say only the youth find joy in times like this, but i disagree.
while they sow bottomless pockets for their vices; i earn a seat
next to our graces. clutching the torch forged by blood, sweat,
and tears –i promise my hands were meant to be here. in the midst
of copy-pasted tweets, fanfiction, and battles; i carry devotion.
hear as i quietly hum lyrics i cannot enunciate or conjugate;
watch as pennies escape the chambers of my leather clasped wallet,
offering all that i can to feel the glow of your paper card presence.
cold from the sleeves that bare your name, this is credence;
i hold so much love even if i only have blank pages.
An avid reader with a book-buying compulsion, Louie Anne (they/she) is a queer writer and poet. Their work has appeared in the Southeast Asian journal Anak Sastra and Ukiyoto Publishing's anthology of love poems and stories, Magkasintahan. You can read more of their work on their website: dearjulietblog.com or follow them on Instagram @cupofinsanity.