Constance Bougie

There is no god if I do not open the window. On the ninth floor of North Scott—residence hall—my room is impenetrable. I was raised a Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Lutheran: my skin is impenetrable. It only yields to pretty older people with soft-looking hair. They have to like poetry. They have to be aromantic. 

I tell my nana, I am going to church nearly every Sunday, but I really ought to go more. She says, at least you realize your mistake. I blush, smile, a lily sitting shotgun in her shiny car.

My friends make fun of Christians. Christians have not read the Bible half as well as an atheist can, and not as much; Christians are homophobic and rude to service workers and will look at you strangely if you’re dressed wrong. I want to defend them. I hate them, too, but they are mine to hate. I hold this dislike to my chest as if it were a child, innocent. I am probably not innocent. I am probably not good. According to my given religion, I have never been good.

I tell myself, I will marry the books sitting in crooked, swaying piles on my desk. If I dream of kissing anyone, it will be Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Oscar Wilde. I will craft my own god(s) from their pages, and bind them together with staples. On Sundays, I will worship them. 

Constance Bougie

Constance Bougie

Constance Bougie is an undergraduate English major at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with focuses in creative writing and LGBTQ+ studies. Find more of Constance’s work at