Begin then. Move
your hand over your body, make the sign of the cross.
Cover her, the nun says. What do you see? A naked
woman, a torch, a skull. The triumph of science over death.
What do you see? A statue wrapped in black cloth.
I see nothing, I say.
Under the sheet
is a body washed up a shore. Under the sheet is a face. Make
the sign of the cross. Sign the form and tear along the
dotted line, carefully. The moral of the story is
forgiveness, but are there any other options? Begin then.
Make the sign of
the cross. Carry a knife in your purse despite the
statistics: the weapon you own may very well be used to kill
you. Walk into the confessional, properly armed. The wooden
saints watch over you, their faces trapped in expressions of
Begin then. In
the convent school, first grade, your face behind a veil.
Make the sign of the cross. Not with your left hand, the man