When I was seven years old, I wanted to be a saint
I looked at my body & found it disgusting. Saint Rose de Lima was a virgin; she died untouched. I wanted to be her but I was the opposite: so familiar with the touch of different hands. Sometimes as fists, they’d bruise me; sometimes as grips, they’d hold me; sometimes with all five fingers, they’d violate me. I was filthy. By age twelve, I thought I’d found a cure: each time I did anything sinful, I’d try to purify myself. I’d get up, put my fingers down my throat, kneel to the toilet bowl. I’d ask God to forgive me for all my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me. I wanted to be clean, wanted to be divine, & put thorns on my head, go sleep on broken glass. I’d flush everything down afterwards.
Anna Marcelo is currently studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute. Her art has been featured in countries such as USA, United Kingdom, and the Philippines. Anna still goes to Filipino mass every Sunday.