December 31, 2013

Protestant Worshipper in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas

By Jamie Quatro

Veronica is lovely. She wipes the dust from Christ’s face in the carving
beside Simon, though she is never mentioned in the Gospels.

I watch a bald woman glue tiny silk roses to the hands, feet,
and side of the body hanging on the crucifix. Healing is the end

of all things. Inside the cathedral, the congregants wear collared shirts
and panty hose. Tomorrow they will sweep floors, pick cabbage.

We are no strangers to ritual. Some of us descend into rivers, enact death,
burial, and resurrection, a little embarrassed by our wet hair.


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Jamie Quatro

Jamie Quatro is the author of the story collection I Want to Show You More and the novel Fire Sermon. Her work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Chattanooga.