The mortal remains were found incorrupt in the same position in which the Saint had died almost 1,500 years before.
_ —The Incorruptibles_
I died with my back to death. A room
full of poison. My roped hands. No window,
but stone walls. A man with a key
each hour, disappointed.
For three days, I spoke
into the floor. On the last, a sword-
swing, strike of silver light. I tasted
the blood before I saw it. It filled
the hollow of my throat. I died
looking into the earth. A mist
that rose with little sound. My body
that would not grow
back into moss and ash, my refusal
of rot. The orchid milk on my lips,
the mourners that took my yellowed veil,
my bloodied dress. I have seen
the way a fly will land on a body
and carry off its relic. I’ve imagined myself
this way—bit of bone, blood,
eyelash. A mouth
with my hair inside. Nest of my knots,
roots of my teeth.
Three fingers and one pointed away.