Who would give birth to the god of death?
Not brought forth in light, as if from clouds,
but squeezed tightly into the dark center of pain where over-worked
organs once sought their toil in silence,
now doubly,
to turn out the precious stone that will spread her feet
and churn her body into paste?

Who would rise at dawn to feed the mortal one?
To fill with gold the body meant to fill the tombs,
that will not rest now, not for an hour,
already anxious for the long graveyard nights when his mother’s warm breast,
warm beating heart,
will be the Father’s cold stone, cold chest.

Who would leave the coffee, the sunny chair
to worship the mother of beauty,
patron saint of sleepless nights and bloody nipples;
to dress the babe in white and give him milk
only to drown him for breakfast?

Who would wipe the ashes from the child’s forehead?
Who would hang flowers from the altar?
While good men in wood-paneled rooms wring their hands about the dance

who would light a candle in every cracked window,
just to snuff, and light again?

Piper Madison is a student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and an inquirer in Mission Presbytery. She lives in Texas with her husband, son, cat, pig and chickens.