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Poetry

Do you want to go back
inside? the neighbor asks
his small dun dog. Beauty,
do you want to go inside?
A long look at the tiny fluff,
as if speech is imminent.
As if anything is imminent.

What would help you
unpack the boxes? my therapist asks.
Love. And I want an authentic
relationship with unruliness,
layers, and with inside
the dark known unknown.
After the session I go inside
Saint Mark’s, finally, the church
that is a warehouse surrounded
by run-off ponds on the low side
of the highway. I’ve avoided this
ugly place. Passed by it every day.

Mary’s in the office. She shines
lay minister shine. I hold her hands
in mine as she holds my hands
in hers: bone, vein, one pulse.
I’m not a hand-holder—this drawing
together is a mystery. She lists
the ministries. How about a
tour? Food pantry, cradle
in the hallway, candlelit daylight.
Grotto. She calls the crumbling
patio the piazza. Piazza! I see
together, here, we’re inside and outside.
It’s not hideous. It’s a piazza, a
concrete stamp on Florida. Yes.


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