Santa Maria de Galeria
Natalia, late in the suburban morning, puts egg to skillet, the air already sweet with olive oil that spatters like static for the pain of it all.
The child, the boy who will not thrive, watches from his stool by the stove dreaming of soft yolks and soccer shoes; watches the patience of his mother's hand, her spatula drawn for the perfect moment when the quivering ceases, when clarity surrenders and the yellow eye sets.
The sky above them is a swarm of sound, the stockade of towers transmitting Mass in a dozen languages. The boy pants in small delight - the egg on a blue plate! - the ceiling light blinking like a martyr baffled by her own demise, the voice of the Pope emanating from the oven.