An Offering by Olivia Pridemore

My brother and I came upon a shrine in Okinawa
where miko still make kuchikamizake.
Here—sipping rice wines fermented in
the cheeks of virgins, is the closest I’ve ever come
to intimacy.

I want to cleanse myself
with holy liquid, bind our
futures with Shinto vows. Home never
smelled like matured cherry blossoms or
crisp oolong.

Adorned with azusayumi and armed
with tamagushi, miko are taught to bend
from birth. They don’t even notice
when their knees
scrape the ground.

Olivia Pridemore is a multi-dimensional artist based in Middle Tennessee.  She is the cofounder / Editor-in-Chief of Silver Needle Press, and her works have appeared in The Raw Art ReviewSand Hills, The Ocotillo Review, Round Table, Ampersand, and elsewhere. Olivia teaches writing courses at Austin Peay State University and enjoys spending time with her two lovely dogs.