between fence posts, growling water pools in the empty sound
of spruce trees, funneling the light.
Hours ago, a family: two towhead boys scrambled ahead.
"You're not far now" the father said, his leg
gashed above the knee, his wife wheezing.
Dead leaves sound like panting beneath my feet.
Without entering a door, I arrive inside
the right nave completely gone, bleached planks disappearing into dirt.
My body casts its shadow beneath a painting of shadows
barely visible on a wall scoured by a blast.
Did it begin one night as a whistle only dogs hear?
A branch scrapes floor-boards,
in a wet staccato, graffiti reading: COME CLOSER!
I want to scrawl: In Memory of Flight
until standing on a bench I see bits of pigment
holding together the convert's
eyes, the curves of four dogs crouching. It is almost
dark now. The mouth of Saint Jude is a scar. .