i have found a bit of peace with
the culture of being catholic
not the philosophies or the words or the judgment
but with the culture of dedication and loyalty
the church has shown my dying mother.
the weekly visits from Mary who listens to my father
who tells her with tears in his eyes how hard it is
to be my mother’s caregiver.
what a different life he envisioned for himself.
a carabinieri who guarded the Pope
a carabinieri who guarded Pele
i tell Mary about my dad’s amateur boxing career
his passion for hand tailored suits
her eyes wide
as Mary holds my hand
wiping my tears as she offers me communion
for the first time in years accepting it.