Siblings alive suffer in sin, not those still born.

Each day I roll the slab away to release her.

Why can’t I sleep with her until resurrection?

At night they pray she’s interred where brothers keep her.

This clever boy tricks death to try to tie the cord.

The last and first get the birth right but not the teat.

They blind their eyes and move ahead, without a word.

“Awake. Arise. Give the maiden some meat to eat.”

The bride lays hands on errant boys, holds them nearer.

Virtue left her to mute demons of her bachelors.

She wades into issues of blood white as manna.

Faith made her whole and staunched the flow till the rapture.

I am condemned to stone in place of one rough tree.

I turn around and ask alone, “Who touched me?”

Tletha, 2009, acrylic on panel, 7x10”