Poem

I am lying this morning
supine on your kitchen table,
pennies warming against the lids
of my eyes, because St. Paul says
we die every moment, so we can
disarm death by rehearsing it.

I am trying to act out my end,
a perfect tragedy, exhausting
the passions of terror and pity,
because events which themselves
we view with pain, we delight to contemplate
when reproduced with minute fidelity.

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I am hoping you’ll say something
about how you’ll miss me. Eternally.
Instead, you sit down with a bowl of Cheerios
and tell me tragedy confines itself
to a single revolution of the sun. Then I’m back
to where I started from: adlibbing. Afraid.

Kathy Rooney

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The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

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