We arrived at the stone church at night;

and all the lights were on.

The air was thick with smoke

and the smell of incense.

An organ player rehearsed above our heads.

The windows were all ablaze with color,

I recognized the indigo from when I picked blueberries

and the juice stained my fingernails purple.

There were clusters of candles by the altar,

the wax dripping down the sides like lace.

We always have so many things to do

but time stilled in there,

like the quiet between heartbeats.


It was hard to believe the place could ever be full.

The walls seemed perpetually stretching outward

under the weight of fleeing prayers.

How many people stumbled there when they were


The room was at once loud as thunder,

and soft as butterfly kisses.


Do you remember what you told me?

About always missing people deeply?

About not letting sorrow claim me?


We sat on opposite ends of a middle pew.

Our knees pointed inward,

our necks angled toward the alcoves,

symmetrical and opposing,

on either side of us.

There was a rain that came and went

and came and went.

We gazed out mirrored closed windows, on fire—so much color,

our bodies folded like wings.