Mornings these days she gets out of bed reciting
“I am the resurrection and the life”
Then invents one by one the pieces of furniture in her apartment;
Table (wicker, inherited with the apartment), chair (upholstered, brought from
home tied to the back of the car she drove 563 miles, a ceaseless wanderer),
Red plastic kettle which reflects back–warped and saturated–points of light from
The lamp behind the dresser.
Raised Christian, she now worships no one.
When Gabriel comes to tell her she is pregnant with Jesus,
She laughs in his face
(Thinks for a moment about raising her middle finger; doesn’t because
How can he be expected to understand her modern parables?).
This will be the fourth time she gives birth to Jesus.
(She has already given birth to Gabriel at least eight-hundred times).
Not even 99 years old, already father of a multitude of nations, mother of all the living.
The kettle boils over.
She makes tea.
In the hallway, before Thanksgiving dinner
Jesus rubs up against her breast;
On the 24th of December, 1997, her body oozes complicity.
At dinner she knocks over his wine glass
Not in revenge, but as redemption.
There should be no schism in the body.
And so? She is the body;
He is is the wafer.
She is the body of the survivors and the non-survivors and the version of each of us
that dies when it touches the flame.