"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.