The Weight of Sanctuary

Eli Jovanovic

I remember
The moments I stepped foot in your antiquated doorway.
Summers in Wisconsin,
The air was cold.

Salvation, they said,
Salvation is what they told me I would find
In your musty, red carpets,
And tear-soaked pews.

They threw a shawl over me,
Though prayer was in its name
No God could hear my screams as I was dragged
To the Hell they were so insistent I was going

Every Sunday was the same thing,
You engulfed me, suffocated me,
Gave my parents a false hope and empty home,
And I still turned out an atheist faggot.

My Salvation,
Was leaving your antiquated doorway, musty red carpets
And tear-soaked pews