Each window has a candle and the steeple lays flat against the East, so the sun can wrap its

tender rays like tentacles—whatever, we said, it’s still beautiful. Shrapnels of light. You said the

poet views everything as connected—I said the dusty organ pipes and the streaks of red

headlights and us here on these pews to show you that I knew. Your eyes watching the artificial

wicks like they held a secret prayer, a murmuring of elsewhere, mussed your bangs and smiled

slightly, I heard your sigh echo across the rows when you walked in. “Are you religious?” More

and more, in moments like this. The floorboards creak above us, fleeting footsteps, all the flashes

and the winks of bright.

The harsh ice dazzled by the lamplight, stripes of shadow on the concrete and our backs soft

against the worn bench.

These moments freeze and melt again, again. A shattering and a birth, the words of faded authors

electrified by your voice channels of understanding surging through the noise. When the snow

floods the banks and I'm walking through the nave still, I’ll think of you this way, like capturing

the moon,

your glowing, waning presence,

refracted rays of red and orange, quieting the pews.

Sofia Bagdade is an undergraduate student from New York City. Her work appears in Words While We Walk Together (Rosedog Books) and Red Weather. She finds joy in smooth ink, orange light, and French Bulldogs.