Fathom Mag

What My Body Was Told

Published on:
January 30, 2023
Read time:
1 min.
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They told me
My body was holy
A temple for the spirit
To be kept pure
That it might conjure life
From its very flesh
Absorbing one man
Creating children
Getting lost in the folds
Of the fabric woven into a home

They told me
About the blood
That washes away
The sin of the soul
But it does not wash away
What it is to be a woman
And pour your own blood
Perpetually unclean
There are no magic words
To render yourself whole
Once torn

They never told me
To stop carving their words
Into my own flesh
Trying to write redemption
They never told me
How to heal
From all they said

In time, I told me
Just love the Unhidden, seen
This nourisher of children
And gardens and righteous rage
Carrying the weight of my
Wonderfully sullied soul
Streaked with the sediment
of both fall and of creation
No longer asking to be forgiven
For all the space I inhabit
For breathing deep and wide
Bleeding deliverance
Rich and dark and holy
Into the earth
without apology

Rachel Loughlin
Rachel Loughlin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she won the Undergraduate Poetry Award. She is a graphic designer, eternally optimistic gardener, runner, muralist, and writer living in Richmond, Virginia. Rachel explores the intersections of nature, sensuality, and faith through her poetry. Her work is forthcoming in Paddler Press, Flora Fiction Literary MagazineMusing Publications, and Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Cover image by Milo Weiler.

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