My father’s epitaph had been a lie,
engraved into a stone tablet—
just like the 10 Commandments.
Both had been used to control beliefs.
David’s wealth was prolonging my father’s life,
even as he was enjoying my father’s wife.
Like Mary Magdalene,
I’d been visiting the empty grave of
the man my mother had practically deified—
the man whose blood would redeem me
from psychological incest.
For the sake of her soul,
she would not divorce,
but she would kill.
For the sake of Patrick’s soul.
she had preserved the body by
keeping him hooked to machines—
a mechanical embalming.
Mother Mary had been Mother’s idol,
but now she saw herself as a martyr—
a saint but not of the Catholic kind.