By. Emily May Portillo

the man tells me
i am his favorite place
to come
and pray.
he says it as if it should mean something to me.
as if i should quiver
at the mere thought of being considered
as if i should gratefully accept
his worship.

he tells me
my body is a temple,
as if he coined the phrase himself.
as if so many others
do not stop to gaze upon it,
their heavy eyes
less prayer
and more sacrilege.
i do not tell him how unoriginal he is.
instead, i only say,
this body
is not
a temple.
are far too often
at the mercy
of unworthy men.
beloved only by those
who find warmth within their walls
and massacred
by those who disrespect sacred places.

this body
is not
a temple.
this body
is my home.
and if you are so lucky
as to be invited in,
i expect you to leave your shoes at the door.
watch your step.
mind your manners.
show respect.
do not forget that being here
is a privilege.
remember, love, you are a guest.
nothing here is yours to claim.
nothing here is yours.
and when you go, know
that your absence
will not leave me lonely.
i am perfectly content
being home

Emily May Portillo is a writer + poet. Her work is published in our Print and Digital Issue 2: Power. You can also find more of her amazing her on her instagram at poetry.on.the.exhale .