03 May 2009

LotS: St. Catherine of Siena

[Ballpoint pen drawing]

St. Catherine of Siena

catnaps on the subway, spine unslumped, rattling
in and out of darkness. Awake she peels
the buntop off her cold Big Mac, brings it to
her nose, inhales pickle (stings) and catsup (sweet),
smacks her lips, recaps the sandwich. A meal
through Tuesday. Low-grade lighting taps
the diamond on the blonde's engagement
finger and unconsciously the saint's vain thumb
twirls her own ring, the dried-apricot prepuce
of the Savior. It's not like being a Navy wife,
waiting; still less Donna Reed with bridge nights
to escape to. After tiffs they're stuck
on the same side of the slammed door, but
the sex is great: her eyes roll like a raver's though
she never hikes her habit. Today she's on her way
to talk the popes out of Avignon again, the soldiers
out of every sandy stalemate; that's the idea, at
least. Nobody sits by her, but when a swayer's
sleeve brushes her hair he calls his mother; when
the girl trips over her foot she drops her stash, can't
find it; when the couple steps aside to let her by
they know they are not meant to be. She stops
to speak Italian to a pizza vendor who knows only
Urdu. He hears her just the same.

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80), an Italian Mantellate (a nun not confined to a convent), took bodily mortification to great lengths but also wielded temporal power, counseling popes and kings. She is a Doctor of the Catholic Church, one of only three women with the title.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
Muse at Highway Speeds by http://museathighwayspeeds.blogspot.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.