Saint Markella’s Cathedral
and Other Poems


Saint Markella’s Cathedral

In Astoria, Leo and I find a small church
on our way to the river. Inside, saints stare from portraits,
fingers raised in code. Leo’s wearing
his Adidas Sambas, praying or trying to,
and I find comfort in his decades-long commitment
to this brand of shoes. He loves them. He does not look further.
He says my problem is that I refuse to settle,
and I wonder if he is trying to demonstrate
patience as we sit together below the domed ceiling
on chairs made from ornately carved wood.
This is the best trick of divine architecture—
that I will exit the church and try to live
better, a bit more devoutly, taking pleasure
in everything, a plate of sliced potatoes
fried in oil, a carafe of cheap white wine.

Slippage

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