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Worshipping Ambition

By Robin Seiler-Garman 

I’ve already sacrificed my nights to you. 

French presses replace coffee mugs

until the sun rises and sets on my laptop. 

I’ve cut the throat of my health

with a swift, practised stroke,

every self-preservation instinct 

flowing into a bowl. 

I’ve given up the daughter I could’ve been

who never misses a Sunday dinner. 

I’ve walked in pilgrimage, 

one ocean to another, 

halfway back and back again. 

I’ve pledged my peace, 

left it at your feet—

what use is breath anyways? 

I’ve typed until my fingers cramped, 

prayed until my knees bled, 

recited devotions until my voice failed. 

What more could you possibly want? 

My dreams? 

My soul? 

My very being? 

Just tell me, 

the alter’s already built, 

the knife’s in my hands.

If I dug my nails into my skin, 

ripped open my chest, 

and held my heart aloft,

bruised, bloody, beating

maybe you’d let me feel again.

Robin Seiler-Garman currently lives in Washington, DC, USA where she fights for reproductive rights and writes on public transit. Originally from California, she was an editor for Camas at Linfield College in Oregon. You can find her tweeting about poetry, politics, and queerness at @rseilerg.

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