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All the holy things

Look at all the holy things.


You dissect me at the altar of my childhood. Word by word,

you construct a temple of social sins adorned with a mass

of reports and scribbled-in questionnaires. You engulf

the absence between us with the liturgy of deficit, hand

over my hand.     When my fingers flutter, your grip

binds them to you. I tell you it hurts and you tell me

I need to listen.    Let’s practice reciprocity.  


Look at me. Every colour in the world spins in brilliance,

words falling from heaven. How are you. Fine. Thank you

for asking. I will show you all the holy things. You’re

supposed to ask me back. I’m sorry. How are you. Every

sentence I speak is an ode to what I call prayer. Fine,

thank you. And yet you call my prayer deficit. Always,


I have lived in words. Body language. Look at me. Eyes

up here. Yet I have shown you all the holy things for you

to take.   My gaze simmers at my lap. At your hand

holding mine.   It is a suffocation. Benedictions stumble

out of my mouth. We’re not leaving until you look at me.

I remember. I forget. Sometimes I am with you again.


When I scurry downstairs I imagine the meandering,

cold staircase of the building that houses you

and your hurt. I panic when people say “Look”. Look

at all the dilapidated holiness. You twist every sacred

thing into curse. My hands as they tremble. My eyes

when they evade gaze. My words. Of every holy

thing, you demolish the sanctuary.


Look at all the holy things.


Look at me.

Image by HONG FENG

DIMASILAW (he/him) is an autistic artist and writer from the Philippines who loves wizards, Biblical hermeneutics, and Philippine and Latin American history. His work has appeared in Ayaskala, Warning Lines, and others; he has been nominated for Best of the Net and is the editor-in-chief of Provenance Journal. He would do anything for his dogs. See @dimasiiilaw on Twitter where he posts nothing worthwhile but wants people to say hi anyway.

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