So be it

To feel cleaner, I sit under stained light beside a mutt, under

                                                                                                                                all the opulence hung

                      to conceal the fact that chapels have ceilings.
                      The mutt is praying for the sick.

                                                                                                        I don’t know what I am praying for,
                                                                                                        but I know that it is embarrassing

that a mutt has more to pray for than I do.
I hold broken earrings in my palms,
too dear to be thrown away and too cheap to repair.

                                                                                                of all the venial sin I’ve committed and try to forget things
                                                                            I can’t forgive, think of the mutt with his head bowed as if he is not
                                                        just a dog, as if he believes. Think of how each seat is reserved for a sinner.

I can’t remember the last time I attended mass.
Outside, there are landmines planted. I was a landmine once.
I kneel and I close my eyes and I pray for them.

Sydney Kim writes poetry in Chicago. She is seventeen and hungry.