Love, Religion, and Ankles | Teen Ink

Love, Religion, and Ankles

February 5, 2019
By cloemaurer BRONZE, South Pasadena, California
cloemaurer BRONZE, South Pasadena, California
3 articles 1 photo 1 comment

The surf laps and your feet
fingers the color of tranquility bite at your ankles


                   falls from the sky’s forgiving blue
your pores open to catch the drops
like a baby in a cradle  
A sacrilegious icon of naivety

Your Madonna

Her rosy cheeks and small porcelain body

In the pocket of your cargo shorts

You’re not even sure if you’re religious

But, three easy guitar chords make you feel

A lot of love

Maybe that’s what religion is


You drive to the Seven Eleven in your brown thunderbird

The light of the streetlamps reflect off of the glossy paint

A soft glare

You go in for cigarettes and a vitamin water

You don’t usually smoke

But you don’t usually drink vitamin waters either

You see a blue plastic rosary

You buy that too

It costs one dollar and twenty three cents

You’re still not sure if you’re religious or not

Driving down Highway 1 at night

The briny sea air turning from a breeze to a wind in your hair

As your car accelerates

With your left arm resting on the window sill

And a cigarette in your hand

The smoke getting sucked out the window

The sweet aftertaste of your mango vitamin water mingling with the smoky taste of the cigarette

lingering in your mouth

Your rosary in one pocket and your Madonna in the other

Maybe this is religion


Can religion be reduced to a set of predetermined beliefs?

Maybe it’s wrong to feel a religious presence in

cigarettes, driving fast, 99 Cents store religious icons, and vitamin water.

But right now you can’t think of anything else that feels so


Like waking up to a bird


In the peaceful morning

Like the trees outside

Trees like the oak trees that grow in

Your aunt’s old neighborhood

Now she lives in a condo

And somebody else lives in your

second home

Their kids swim in the pool, splashing water all over the hot pavement

The heat erasing their crooked smiley faces and lopsided hearts

Moments later

Adults that aren’t your family drinking wine on the long patio

Sun glinting off of the stemless glasses that they hold

In their hands with the veins

that are beginning

to stick out

in late middle age

With the hammock rocking in the sweet breeze

Watching the sun set

Over the yellow hills

Dotted with oak trees

Like cows gone out to pasture

A pasture like the thousands you drove past

On a road trip to


You half expected to see yellow stones

Yellow like the sunlight streaming through your open window

None of the stones

Were yellow at all

They were gray

Like the color your mom’s eyes turn

When her mouth stretches in a tight line

When you’ve dissapointed her

Which lately

Feels like all of the time

But, take another sip of your vitamin water, pull another heavy drag on your cigarette

Blow it out the window

You can’t blow rings

But it still looks

Pretty cool

You remain unsure about your religion

I guess that’s okay


Feel the engine turn over under your seat

And drive back


The author's comments:

Ouch !

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