felt like a funeral for
the only part i liked
was the singing;
but it didn't feel like a
community so much as it
felt like everyone was waiting for you to
make a mistake so they could judge
you for it—
when i realized i wasn't straight,
i prayed and begged and pleaded but
my prayers were never answered as
i searched for answers in stained glass
and i began to question everything—
if a loving creator made us in Their image,
then why would i be punished for being
who i was created to be; why would i
be an abomination just for existing?
why did purity matter and why did victim
i lost my faith because i saw the lack
and through the nice smiles because
nice is fake and an illusion;
just like their love.
Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer whose works have been published widely both online and in print. She has twelve published poetry chapbooks, the latest being: Searching Stained Glass Windows For An Answer (Alien Buddha Press, December 2022).