Inside the broken-necked chapel, kneeling in the debris of other people’s faith, she held up a stained glass fragment outlining Mary's perfect suffering.
“I could be like this for you,” she said. “I could mourn you so hard it would bring you back.”
I saw her then, in blue, lips bit ragged and bleeding, eyes luminous with the power of a loss unaccepted. A sunrise or bomb blast would turn the world into her halo.
But there, in the church, she brushed dust from her cheek with a pilled sweater sleeve, then held the colored glass flat between her palms. It disappeared like a street magician's trick.
She was supposed to wink. I was supposed to clap. But I took her empty hands in my own and to anyone looking through the rafters’ gaps, it would seem like we were praying.
Rebecca Cuthbert lives, writes, and cares for shelter dogs in Western New York. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Slipstream, Draft Horse, Luna Luna Magazine, and elsewhere.