After a long and impressive battle with stigmata, my former lover Mr. Daly was assumed into heaven one windy day in October. I watched him rise slowly to the sky, like Mary Martin in Peter Pan, a beatific expression on his face.
Because of the unprecedented circumstances and lack of a buriable corpse, Fr. Doyle ultimately decided against holding a formal funeral. Instead, he urged parishioners to contemplate on the miraculous events quietly in their own hearts.
Since there was no grave, I erected a small shrine outside the diner where he had first realized his palms were bleeding. Nothing flashy—some flowers, a poem, and a plastic Virgin Mary his grandmother had given him as a child and which he had subsequently given to me.
Unfortunately, the property owner—a terse, no-nonsense Lutheran—removed it the following day. With all record of him gone, it was almost as if Mr. Daly had never existed.
Tara Roeder teaches writing in New York City. Her work has appeared in venues including Monkeybicycle, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Haggard and Halloo.
Lead image: “everything” (via Flickr user David DeHetre)