First, know they will take your hair, your nails, maybe your hands.
They’ll take the wood from the stake you were tied to, the screws
in your coffin, your stockings, your shoes. There will be forgeries:
the cup you last drank from, the panties you died in. They’ll be
mass produced and sold at exorbitant prices. Multitudes will believe
these objects have miraculous powers. A farmer’s wife with a lock
of your hair will give birth to rabbits. A single pot stirred with your hand
will produce enough food for a famine. Your promoter slash husband
will preserve what’s left of your body and display it in Europe. There,
you’ll be not a saint but a scandal. People will protest your exhibition,
but they’ll still want a peek. All of this will be beyond your control.
No marvel is in control, in death or life—the second thing you must know.
Third, expect many proposals. They’ll come with bouquets of roses.
They’ll come stuffed inside beer bottles. They’ll be graffitied onto
your trailer. Full-page ads will be taken out in the paper. There’s something
about women like us that makes men lose all sense of decorum.
Reject them outright, and you’ll never be rid of them. You must delay
your response until they lose interest, even if it takes months,
even years. Last, understand you will witness some miracles for yourself.
Not the kind anyone asks for. A lame child will see resurrection
and be punished with whips. A beautiful girl will cry blood when she
sees you. And when you ask God for mercy, your own voice will say no.
REBECCA CROSS is a disabled poet who works as an editor in Vermont. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Woven Tale Press, Breath and Shadow, and Always Crashing.