Epic of the Material World

Holly Iglesias

In front of the Infant of Prague, a bank of flickering candles, a nickel for small ones, a dime for the large. The calendar of saints, virgins and martyrs, cripples and bishops, flagellants and hysterics. The Sacred Heart in a tangle of thorns, his mother’s foot crushing the serpent’s head. Children reciting acts of faith, of hope and charity, of conversion and reparation. Children, it is always children, small bodies, small mouths, dark eyes eyeing the proliferation of things—medals, holy cards, stinging nettles.