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Arts & culture from the fringe. Back to blog home.

  • Writer's pictureCorey Landon Wozniak

The Sacred and the Profane

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness; illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible.

“The Sacred and the Profane— at the Chapel” (Leviticus)


On the pew behind me

The grown man with Down Syndrome

Burps hot on the nape of my neck.

A mighty rushing wind

Like the breath of Seraphim.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


Five thousand

golden fishy crackers

Spilled under the pew.

Enough to feed a multitude!

My toddler eats them

Linty off the ground.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


The seventeen-year-old priest

With Asperger's

Picks his nose

And proceeds to break the bread.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


A blonde boy

Makes a Jesus action figure

Do parkour

On the pew.

Holy! Holy! Holy!

“The Sacred and the Profane— at the Temple” (Leviticus)


There are toilets in the Temple,

And sometimes they get clogged.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


Although I’ve never worn

My temple slippers

Save on sacred carpets,

When I kneel at the altar,

The bottoms of my soles

Are black.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


My white temple pants fit

30 pounds ago.

I unbutton them

When I sit

To make holy covenants.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


The old women

Smell like Bengay.

The men’s hands are gnarled,

Their knuckles doorknobs.

Holy! Holy! Holy!


About the Author

Corey Landon Wozniak lives with his wife and two sons in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he teaches English and Comparative Religions at a public high school. An avid writer, his essays have appeared in The Revealer and Public Square Magazine.


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