"My Body is a Flawless Ceremony" by Liz Holland

I walked down the church aisle second in line

seven years old, pristine white veil, shouting

of my temporary innocence. The candle


sat tall and thin in my hands, white to match

my dress, my shoes, the doily keeping the

dripping wax from my dirt smudged fingers.


I tipped it forward, just so. I am a good girl.

I knew because the man in the dress told me

through the gold-plated filigree. I confessed sins.


I wondered what would make me bad. My

older sister said she always came out a good 

girl, her reddened knees told of a lengthy penance.


Slowly walking up towards the altar, behind

another little girl, I smiled at the priest, aching

to touch my flame to the veil in front of me.



Liz Holland is an MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. Her work can be found in Marias at Sampaguitas, The Kraken Spire and forthcoming in Remington Review and Little Patuxent Review.  She currently lives in Baltimore with her fur-son Brax.


"My Body is a Flawless Ceremony" by Liz Holland