We went there as a family, once. Being secular, I believed
in salvation through the self or science, not charms or charlatans.
But when medicine failed me, my mother & father, devout
followers of the church of parenthood, reached out to him
& God & anything they thought could help me. At his compound
we found dollars drowning in his wishing well; a counter full of prayer
cards & chocolate bars; a wall of postcards proclaiming him a god
-ly man; & platters overburdened with bills, the marks of his charity.
In his office, I felt only emptiness at the miracle of his touch. And,
he promised, laying on hands was possible even at a distance
through the wonders of technology. Polaroids were the pictures
of faith. They were hung in his chapel like saints & shot
by those who ached with love for the affected. Later, my parents
captured me & my pain and mailed us to his compound packed
with their hopes & their money.
Dominik Parisien’s work can be found in The Fiddlehead, Wordgathering, Plenitude, Exile: The Literary Quarterly, as well as other magazines and anthologies. His poetry chapbook, We, Old Young Ones, is forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press. He is also the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Starlit Wood, which won the Shirley Jackson Award, and Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual, French Canadian. He lives in Toronto.