My firstborn cups her hands over her mouth
to catch the blood, as if holding a secret.
Her lip, bitten through, swelling a betrayal.
I already knew the body’s disloyalty—
how it may defer healing, breathing, feed
the begging sacrifices of love to the priests,
never more godlike than when dying. I will
always wonder what our youngest daughter
felt as her body ascended. Like a single word,
murmured, that you wish you had never said.