Sacrifices at the Altar of My Beloved by Audria Byrd

SACRIFICES AT THE ALTAR OF MY BELOVED

I wonder what
Sacrifice I can offer to break
Your unseasonable winter

First I offer up
                     An apology
Swatted away
With an assurance that
“It’s no inconvenience at all”
I try to take your gospels
At face value

When you arrive
I offer up
                     My arms
Pull you close to me
And hold you for a spell
But my warmth won’t thaw you
Even a lick

Desperate
I offer up
                     Candied words in prayer to you
Wrapped carefully in grape leaves
For good presentation
But when I hold them out for you to take
They tumble to the frosted ground

I wonder if I should
Offer up
                     My body
                     Myself
                     My lips
                     And legs
Surround you with me
And me with you
Pour my heat into you
Until there’s nothing left for us to do
But shiver together
Until this bitter cold finally passes

But instead I offer up
nothing more
instead I walk with you
shrouded in
                                          silence
with the chill of night air
closing in around us both


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Audria Byrd is a recent alumna of the University of South Carolina, and is currently based in Columbia, SC. In addition to being a poet, she is also an actor and filmmaker. As an artist, her objective is to tell the stories of herself and other marginalized communities — particularly queer and trans people of color — to build empathy and understanding.

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