From The Lives of the Saints: The Meek in Death Shall Bleed
Germaine, an unsightly child with withered hands and scrofulous neck, had but French and faith, the Angelus and self-mortification as her daily joys. A girl, in short, of the times. Streams parted before her, roses spilled from her lap, and God was so pleased with the miserable creature that He called her to heaven before she could kiss the sixteenth century goodbye. The night sky pierced by His radiance as virgins led the villagers to the barn where the body lay. Magnificent in death as in deprivation, she defied decay through the ages, till the Reign of Terror and quicklime finally did the trick.
Soft as talc on the palms of the blind, your fingers tap a banister, a chair back, anything to guide you down the narrow hall of November. You were dreaming: chipped Hummels on the mantel, your fevered cheek against the mirror, and on the sill, gloating, a glue pot poised to mend what's best left asunder: shards of Dresden, tattered hearts, that crock of grief pickling in the cellar.
Yolk coagulating on a blue plate, blackbird on the sill. On her lap a book and in the book ten tales of scolds with bored tongues, busy-bodies beside themselves with prophesy, robbing enthusiasm of its good name, toting to the new world old pots where they simmered roots and knuckles, spooned marrow into wounded mouths to test for the trace of abomination.
The house lists, a steamboat beached in the Garden District, laden with cargo from other worlds—sugar, pestilence, the currency of flesh. Her eyes lock onto the back of a sleeping head as she bolts for the door, past the bed, the table, the evidence upon it—trolley token, Kools, a broken cup. But this is not the set of a movie so much as its plot. She descends the stairs, angles across the chipped, white face of decay, each step a departure as dawn drains of color like a body new to sex.