Temple

My thunder thighs don’t say temple.

My stretchmarks are not stones where monks kneel.

My bruises and scars are not made of stained glass.

My body isn’t a temple.

My body.

This body,

is capable of recovery and growth.

It meditates in the miracle of healing.

It’s not stagnant, not easily broken.

 

I don’t think they know what my body isn’t– only what it is.

And to them, it is a site of worship.

The focus and reverence on my skin,

wordless prayers on my lips–

I can tell I am church to this person.

That this is a pilgrimage they’ve made.

I don’t know all the lovers and deserts they’ve fasted through,

What seas of strangers they’ve parted to be here,

Right here,

Testifying at the center of me.

I don’t know what sermons they’re saying,

but I feel what they mean,

what they mean in this monotheistic moment.

This person makes me feel like this is the only god they could ever fathom praising.

 

I am not my own temple.

Any temple that’s suffered the wreckage I have would never survive.

But this can be a temple for someone else,

their sanctuary for visiting touch.

We become shelters for those who honor us enough to let them stay.

 

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