Singapore American School
I am a God-loving woman,
I worship my body down to every holy bone.
The fading neon signs of the shabby bar
Are the halos crowning my divinity.
Where drunken men and exotic women
moan and dance in dirty bed sheets—
luxuriate in the enchantments to exorcise desolation.
A dirty bag of powder goes into the pretty schoolgirl’s drink,
Saggy stripper sprawling on the stage, shoves another fistful
of one-dollar bills between her breasts.
A casual drink turns into a drunken brawl, and the bartender
demands payment for two broken glasses.
The rustling of dollar bills beats
louder than the wings of angels.
Men will come in droves,
Tear me apart and leave me bleeding. Pitiful silhouettes
with no particular distinctions in bed, or in the art
of making oneself whole.
A fly circles idly around the flicker ceiling light, limbs
reach inside and pull out, trembling
in the fiery dance to cast away creeping loneliness.
Men can hide their faces from the probing eyes of saints
Cower under dirty sheets wrangled in tears,
kneel to pray for forgiveness
and stare right up at me.
I count the crinkled greenbacks in my wallet, smudge new lipstick
onto my peeling lips, feel the kiss of new coats
against my bruised body.
Buy time against isolation, hastily
stuff money into bottomless lust, and
laugh in the face of divine judgment.
Nothing could have prepared me for Self Love. Many rereads later, I cannot compare it to anything; it is simply Self Love, and it is unique. The author discusses divinity in a setting that I previously thought impossible, and proves me wrong in every line.
Juanru Zhang, attends Singapore American School in Singapore. She will be graduating in the year 2022.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR