long before she found Colorado.
When she moved her bones rubbed together
and her skin sloughed dust like a holy aura.
She told her sisters, We are dizzy
because we breathe the light of God
and pointed to the dirt which felt most like her own body,
grotto of a dormant womb
which bubbled with miraculous liquid.
The sisters dug toward hell to find the gifts of heaven.
They erected a miniature of Lourdes over her well
because when they looked upon that stooped wife of Christ
their mouths filled with honey.
But Mother Cabrini knows. It was all wind and luck.
When water bubbled up and wet the dirt,
she prayed for three days and nights
to the nameless saint of groundwater.
Rebecca Valley is a poet and writer living in Olympia, Wash. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming from a number of magazines, including Rattle, NECK Press Review, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She is the editor-in-chief of Drizzle Review, a book review site with a focus on minority authors and books in translation, and the poetry editor at The Drowning Gull. During the daylight hours she works as a middle school librarian.
Jayne Marek‘s photos have appeared in publications such as Camas, Sliver of Stone, Gyroscope, Central American Literary Review, Peacock Journal, New Mexico Review, Blast Furnace, and Gravel, among others.