Santo Subito ~ Anna Lowe Weber


One more miracle—all the deceased pope needs

            for sainthood.  Perhaps he’ll go the classic route:

a child lifting himself from a wheelchair, walking


with the shaky toddle of a newborn foal; a blind man

            suddenly gifted with vision.  Either of those will do. 

Or another French nun cured of Parkinson’s, just like


the last one, writing and walking again after devout

            prayers to the passed pope.  Do miracles count if

they happen more than once?  They must.  But


think of the miracles come before him: oceans

            parted, fish multiplied, water turned to wine—who

among us hasn’t wished for that one?  Remember


the lepers, all ten of them, miraculously rid of pus-oozing

            lesions, each crag of a face gone smooth.  Remember

waves with strength enough to hold a man in his march


across water.  Devils cast into a herd of swine,

            then the whole lot of them drowned in the depths

of the sea.  Those squeals and shrieks must haunt him,


the dead pope, as he awaits a final miracle of his own. 

            Ours is a difficult time for wonders.  Marys’ tears

are revealed as simple condensation, ceramic statue faces


covered in microscopic cracks.  An Italian Madonna

            weeps blood, but DNA tests later prove the fluid

to be male.  And on e-Bay, the Blessed Grilled Cheese


Virgin Mary kit goes for thousands of dollars.  The pope

            must be rolling in his crypt, aching for the days when

it seems miracles were a dime a dozen and never


questioned.  When the story goes that three days

            after brutal crucifixion, a man returned to bodily life,

and no one thought to call him a zombie.