Every day today, Jesus dies. I held a baby today—he was fat and beautifully groggy and his small eyelids scrunched as he fussed and his mother opened her arms, calling him back to her chest. Tonight, the choir chants, I finger my prayer rope, gazing at the icon of the Merciful Virgin, her Child’s arm reaching across her chest. Even in this infant’s eyes, we see today, His end. As teenagers, my friend and I wanted to be virgin mothers. We communicated this wish without words. If an angel came to either of us, its glory went unnoticed. Past forty now, no longer a virgin, I hold, glancingly, what can never be mine. But there’s a fire in my belly, it burns.