“I have always long to suffer for God and His Church” – St. Catherine of Sienna
When you told the Pope to “be a man,”
what did you know of men, Virgin?
Clasping chastity to your breasts
as an anointing. Unwed, a chosen
deprivation. After my third child,
I buy a corset, thought to correct
the muscles. I pity myself, cinched,
munching a Lean Cuisine, dark chocolate.
When you began to die, eating only
the sacrament, you lay flat on a slat
of wood, a rough-hewn plank,
your final offering on the plate.
Wafer-thin, you tore against your
own skin, an iron chain to out sin:
yours, others’, the dead, the living.