Give me to carry just a fragment of the cross. A single thorn, or single lash to suffer. A drop of blood.
At your worst, holding you seemed to make the world make sense - to you, at least - but the nurses had lorazepam for that and in more ways than one I came to know impotence.
Like a supplicant, eating nothing at all and playing cards with myself while waiting for the Visitation.
At your best, I brought Halloween string lights and Halloween candy for the holy sisters and pagan holiday or no, we gave that room the feeling of a convent, and I wrung my hands while you slept.
Home in midafternoon and anxious rosaries in azure on the bedsheets and flowers in brown, on green field dormant.
Sleeplessness was penance, and so was I absolved; thus some of that absolution affixed itself to relics and that rubber duck on the dashboard I touched in the morning traffic. It glowed to say your spirit was with me.
And though I now can sleep at any hour, I examine it all the same for some of Christ’s blood, or his forgiveness, hoping to find the signet ring of the Pope or at least some of your halo where I should expect the Byzantine absence of it.