Some Dead Magic

Every last building we crept into was a cathedral
in some way, eventually. Holy scepter of broken

sink and dead pigeons arranged like merchandise.
You could say they arrayed themselves. Starlight,

the black plastic bags only the liquor store gave us.
A full set of kitchen knives under the driver’s seat,

tucked in a tidy wooden block. Some days I almost
snuck a baguette in there beside them, or an orange

pepper. Not that we ate. It was up Woodward, down
Woodward, and I wasn’t the driver, so I was the car.

The bus shelters all piled with babushkas. I said my
own rosary. My mother had carefully written a house

number on an index card, in case someone found me.
She forgot the phone number. I felt my way home

anyway. There were six of us, or only four, we lost
somebody in a bathroom mobbed with wet graffiti.

Those days something was always wet and hanging
above. Even streetlamps couldn’t help themselves,

so where could they possibly lead us? There wasn’t
any magic left in the world, only stray newspapers.  end