MY GRANDFATHER AND GOD PLAY HIDE AND SEEK WITH ME




 
—No, He doesn’t. If He did, I’d quit moping.
 
I       sift   




 
Finding God in unexpected places is getting old. 
 





 
I used to look for my grandfather behind trees.
 





 
“Found you,” I said. Years later, he’s nothing
 







 
“Found You,” I say. They were right when they said
 





 
In spots of blood I look for hope. God is on the chopping board.
 
 


God lingers in the grout 
and scuttles beneath cockroaches on the kitchen floor.
 

 
I       sift         between the medicine bottles in the cupboard
and peer behind the framed portrait of my dead grandfather.
 
When I’m curled up in the corner of the kitchen, I thumb
the dust-crumbed gaps between cold tiles and hope God speaks.
 

 
I wonder what His voice sounds like. 
Maybe He sounds like my grandfather. 
 
When I stand up and curl my fingers over the knife’s hilt,
I look for God between slices of sour onion on the chopping board.
 

 
When I scaled the chipping tower of mango, 
a swarming cloak of fire ants washed my pale back.
 
Grandfather emerged from behind and doused my skin
in shocking water, swatting ants off every nook and cranny.
 

 
but a bit of     ash        for the ants to treat as sugar. 
And God, faceless and nameless, has taken his place.
 
I’m thinking so hard about playing
 
hide and seek with my grandfather that I slice the tip
of my finger and—after the sting—stare at the blood gushing. 
 


God could be found in the oddest spots. Thin red drips from my fingertip 
and down the chopping board, dotting my glistening unclean onions
 
like sauce. I half-expect my grandfather to crawl out of a cupboard
and cover my finger with a bandage.                God doesn’t do that. 
 

 
Whatever that means.

Dimasilaw (he/him) is an artist and writer from the Philippines who is passionate about Biblical exegesis. He is the editor-in-chief of Provenance Journal. Find him on Twitter @dimasiiilaw.

Composition by Daniel Liu.