rode my foreigner’s collar, scuttled
the gravel path I took to St. Senan’s.
Just inside, votive candles breathed
their flames for the suffering
of the faithful, my hands held out
to their somnolent warmth. The priest’s
heavy voice echoed liturgy and rite
over pious stone, hallowed glass,
and dismissed us to divine favor.
A blind congregant’s cane tapped
its way home through a streetlight beam.
A woman’s chalk face stared at him
from the solitude of a taxi. I passed
a shop open late. Inside, I asked
for a map of shipwrecks, a guide
to birds ascending this city not my own,
the names of wings opening to a gale.