God lingers in the grout 

and scuttles beneath cockroaches on the kitchen floor.

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

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.

                Finding God in unexpected places is getting old.

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.

                I used to look for my grandfather behind trees.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.