Alb: A white liturgical tunic worn as prayer for a heart protected from all stain and washed in the Blood of the Lamb.
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He is not the only one pierced today.
surround him in my arms
of flowing cloth: a pietá in fabric
and flesh. I remain with him, faithful,
as I have done since he was young.
Sorrow tears at the fiber of my being.
we two were consecrated, our fates interwoven.
Each day since then, I have dressed him in light
white as the bread he lifted up,
bright as the rays of tropic sun shining
from his golden cup onto the crowds
of campesinos pressing close.
to keep him free of stain or cleansed.
We both are soaked in the river of blood
flowing from his heart, his mouth, his ears.
My grief cannot blot out a mortal wound.
I protect, but I am not bullet-proof.
Mary Anne Reese is an attorney who lives in Cincinnati.