Horarium of the Nuns
5:30 Rise
Creak the bones unfold
to dark as feet slide
into cotton slippers,
movement of bodies hum
like moths eating white wool.

6:00 The Angelus (Lauds)
Blessed art thou
Lady of Shadows
long suffering,
perfect pain,
your womb an echo
canyon of the lost.

6:20 Prayer (An Hour)
Forgive the lust that eats
the soul like rust
on a tin watering can.
Longs to touch
the callus on the hand
of the Mexican who cuts
branches off rose bushes
and keeps the red petals.

7:20 Great Silence Ends
Words form on lips
like speckled stones
dropping into lakes
of sound.

8:00 Conventual Mass
The Virgen Santisima de Guadalupe
in painted squares, a mosaic:
stars on her, mirrored
by the sea, she is sky,
creeping golden vines on her
burnt siena dress, she is earth.

8:45 Eucharist (Thanksgiving)
For the hummingbird
who stares questions
and twists her neck to show
a ruby hiding there.

9:00 Breakfast
The egg,
essence of life
like the purple coneflowers
crushed in oneís palm,
the seeds broadcast
on salty wind.

9:30 Manual Work
Nails blackened half moons,
weeds the roses donated
and named:
Peace, Sheer Bliss, Rhapsody,

At the bottom of the hill
a beach: divers suit up like black seals,
artists with easels upon sand
paint the yellow monastery.

Noon (Sext)
Hymns in honor of our Lady
the ever-virginal mother.

3:00 Prayers for the Dying
Tears form an apricot pit
in the throat.

5:00 Prayer
A prayer for the brother
who drinks from 2:00 to 8:00 pm
and on the seventh day rests.
Brown eyes once clear
now tarnished by thunder
that haunts his sleep.

6:00 Evening Prayer
For the mother
whose bitterness is uncooked
chocolate like the wafer
one cannot swallow.

7:30 Recreation
Braids hair like
a rosary, copper snakes
around sandpaper fingers.

8:30 (Matins)
Night prayer
Knees creak on an pew
of stars. Shoots arrows
at the moon, climbs
to the place where she thinks
her sigh escapes Godís notice.

9:10 Great Silence Begins

Maria Garcia Tabor