The world is made of love
I tell the little girls
in catechism class
on Wednesday nights at six.

Not little really: eighth
or seventh grade, just old
enough to have been hurt
once or twice in their lives.

I tell the boys about
the deaths the martyrs died:
at stakes and scaffolds, burnt,
beheaded, fed to bears.

But I still can’t get their
attention—they stare out
the window, pick at scabs,
put their heads down and sleep.

They’ll have to learn one day
the same way we all learned:
you try at life and fail
and you are catechized.


a stunning lady there
she was not and then was
and is and is there

white laundry clouds above
so bright they sting the eyes
and no sound anywhere

a million souls in pain
ignited at her feet
the children staring on

and standing there she smiles
immensely sadly smiling
feet floating only slightly


I must have been eighteen
Pretending to read the
Duino Elegies

That park off Lansdowne Street
I wouldn’t know it now
If it was right in front of me

Imagine that, my dear
The last thing that remains
With all the rest erased

That park, that sky, that day
As if the world could say
My deepest hopes and fears