She gave the visiting priest the black-glove treatment,
and when he went back to the brothers,
it was with the gnostic gospel of her kiss still on his lips
instead of The Word.
She was just never gonna fit in, that was the trouble,
and so she went strong and weedy within herself,
strangling out the greenhouse virgins and marking the garden stones
like a dog or a boy or a moondevil, beyond the reach of common caution.
He found her crying in the parking lot garden,
wrapped in a mantilla of broody dark clouds,
with accents of deep red and sharp silver,
the poems in blood of her price, her anger, and her power.
He called her Little Pea Hen, and tilted her chin up with his fingertips,
a shepherd holding her hair in one hand and his shears in the other.
What would you have done, if you had been her,
set out that day on the bright paving stones like a bottle jar?
Every time she put her hands together to pray,
the wind kicked up and a cold downdraft made her skirts whip around
like nervous wolves.
Do I need to say the rest? Must some cleric put it down in ink?
All I know is this:
These days, her hips are as curved as cathedral bells,
and though she is covered in yards of cloth like a vieja,
she carries a secret, and will dance until red leaf Autumn,
then sigh and give birth to a black diamond,
held like fry bread or the host,
blessed and divided the way she demands it to be,
in the beaks of her devoted flock, her kindred darlings, the crows.