Copper bouquets ripped from phone towers
nick my brother’s hands in the night. No saints
are born, the priest tells us, only recognized—
after a life of holy works.
Of all the things Catholicism taught me,
I treasure repetition most.
A stray dog limps through the overgrowth of a vacant lot.
She bares her teeth
as I approach her; she licks my outstretched fist.
Along my brother’s shoulder blade
winds his first tattoo:
a cross on a mountain of bullet casings.
Teeth, glowing white like votive candles.
Teeth of the persecuted dislodged from the jaw.
If it can be done,
why not do it? he asks, to break the car’s silence.
I respond, There’s no reason at all.