Sentences Written at Saint Columba’s Church


Praying he once read is a pioneering form of picketing, a revolutionary thing to do, like the walkout, the sit-in, or leaving your weight dead in the hands of a kettling army.


Out back of a chapel, and in with the fields, forest, the living hedges, a blouse lay in a wad. Reaching for it, he hears the sea. The chill air and the arc of the sky give the color blue to the smell of fennel.


The blue blouse is a boy’s blouse from a bygone era whose cheery bugs live in its folds. Whose lifespans we may measure in hours, minutes, and seconds.


A breeze catches in the cypresses. A blouse caught in a sea of nettles. Pick it free. Flap it open. Find it filled with feline beetles upwelling in the thousands.


Like a flipbook animating a trotting mare or a sprinter in an Olympiad, this benevolent swarm of insects renders his silhouette as a flickering Vitruvian Man.


Seen from afar through an ocular window, his silhouette shows not his taking communion but his talking it over with himself: “It’s too late to eat something,” he says. He could be okay with the ritual of it, though, once he got it into his system.


Praying, he reads, is a pioneering form of picketing. So think of something you do everyday and swap it out for protest. He prays in the morning for the courage to wave a sign in the face of captains of industry late in the afternoon.


Ladybugs pelt like kisses and like the touch of a kiss they dissipate. The climate is changing.