Bio: Sarah Waring is a 16-year-old poet from the United States. She loves poetry, conspiracy theories, and her dog.
Editor’s note: Sarah pairs strong imagery and powerful rhetorical questions to create a work with real power. Readers will be able to vividly imagine the quiet church in the centre of New York thanks to her gorgeous descriptions, and she captures the strange juxtaposition of being alone and aware of the history of a space in a way that we really loved!
Everything feels like isolation.
The church is empty now,
crooked-nose priest leaving his ghost in the pulpit,
wide-eyed children with golden idols floating in their heads,
women with grey hair escaping their hats
going home to stitch quilts they will never finish.
Carpet rises and falls beneath my feet
red and soft, skin stretched over bone floor
I do not know how to pray, nor do I know who built
these old walls, this arching ceiling, this white expanse.
Does God hold you warm and pulsing
in kind wrinkled hands? Is that why you come here?
If i believed someone could protect me,
would i never get hurt?
I think of Spanish genderless apostles,
French rose windows,
sacred English graves,
quiet in the centre of New York.
Is this a selfless creation?
Do we truly give to God
or simply crave salvation?
If this is love, where does it go?
I do not belong in hushed silence; your god
will not permit me into heaven.
I walk to the altar, get on my knees,
burn my legs on carpet.
I do not know what to say.