By Colin Dickey
Afterlives of the Saints is a woven accumulating of groundbreaking essays that go through Renaissance anatomy and the Sistine Chapel, Borges’ "Library of Babel," the background of spontaneous human combustion, the hazards of masturbation, the pleasures of castration, “and so forth” — each one essay targeting the tale of a selected (and relatively unusual) saint.
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The entire class was on the edge of their seats waiting for what was to come. “The body is the temple of the soul. The Lord intended that our bodies should be kept pure and virginal as suitable vessels to contain our immortal soul. Abusing your God-given body is one of the things that the Lord hates most. “Here’s an example. There was a boy I taught a few years ago. On the outside he seemed very innocent and pure. He went to Mass and took Holy Communion practically every day. He went to Confession twice a week.
Brother Damon put his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him. I sensed a wetness on the back of my neck and realized that the prefect was crying too. He hugged me closer. Then I felt a hard lump against my thigh through his dressing gown. Brother Damon’s prick was erect and throbbing. I reached down and pressed it gently. It calmed me down to feel a man’s hard prick in my hand, the thing I had been missing since Boudreaux graduated. I reached under the dressing gown and fondled Brother Damon’s erection.
In the pit of my stomach Words unleashed are bubbling up Like lava, brimstone Hellfire wanting to spit. Outrage about to erupt. Memorized words, meanings instilled Syllable by syllable, from the Latin root Shrouded in mystery Clouded in frankincense Embellished with gold leaf, sterling, and amber. Infallible. Virgin. Unworthy. Submit. Be silent. Words that strangle me Queer and Catholic 23 24 QUEER AND CATHOLIC Like a crucifix on a chain A noose around my neck. I choke on their intentions. Almighty Hangman Give me a ladder.
Afterlives of the Saints by Colin Dickey
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