Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #17 : July-December 2012

Aditi Machado





      XI

      THEY LONGED TO HAVE THE BODY OF CHRIST
      IN THEM, EVEN AS THEY WERE IN THE BODY OF
      CHRIST

      In the Venetian convent of Corpus Domini, Bartolomea recorded
      every death. I record the else.

      Bartolomea eulogizes only one man. He is the man who helped build
      Corpus Domini. I can eulogize more than one man. I know more
      men that can die than did Bartolomea.

      Bartolomea sang softly: a hymn fevered in her hand.

      Of Sister Piera she wrote:

      she kissed and cleaned every sore on that body

      Before this, thirty sisters had died in the hands of Sister Piera.

      Bartolomea did not record her own death, except in that she left her
      mark. The tattered inner dress of bones.

      Of Sister Isabetta she reproduced these dying words:

      I am stripped of myself and throw myself entirely on him;
      may my Lord do with me as he pleases

      Or more gently:

      I am going to my wedding

       

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