Why Mrs. M Requests Our PrayersErika Howare
She is ready to fast and be riven. She is emaciated by a basement ballet, by patterns of song spilling onto the melted lawn. At the long table of supper and schoolbook, she entered this life with choirs nastily lifting her name up to the Lord and the littlest child pinching out altar candles. There were people (a tenor, an alto) watching a Christmas cactus bloom on top of a broken TV. There was her nth son pitched his tent in the vestibule, repented all Sunday and tested the mettle of bells as we waited for his speaking in tongues to wind down. Thus is she riven. She is asunder, she is alone among men and beloved ways of asphalt disguising itself as frozen ponds, though whiteness as absence is different than purity. She knows morning's items and trespasses, orange peels in meaningless piles, things that wait for a turn on the phone. No one is anyone's one true wife, she knows. What she would like to point out is the culvert icicle in the elbow of the sheep farm. It has grown three feet long. It is not permanent. It will die for our sins. She has cancer and is having her voicebox removed on Monday.
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