In the alleyway by the courthouse
_______graffiti sprayed on crumble
______________of brick: “There is no God in
heaven so why are you down on
_______your knees.” I step back
______________to look longer. At my foot
a derelict skeleton of a bird,
_______a jay, I believe.
______________Was the bird convinced
and stopped right there
_______in melancholy surrender?
______________People pass around me
and shake their heads at the wall;
_______their eyes glaze with No.
______________Some do have, at the corners
of the mouth, an upward bent
_______hard to classify as smiles,
______________but not one sees bird blended
into grime of pavement
_______or catches lines of vanished