The Church Bells are Especially Loud Today


Those who do not carry crosses carry

umbrellas. It’s a miracle, this water


contains electrolytes, promises

to restore my balance. It is stupid


to text your ex and blame her for

your nightmares. I’m happy you called.


It’s a comfort, the same man continuing

to die on the same day every year.


On my street there is no procession,

just a knife sharpening truck with a bell.


The Italian girl crying downstairs gives

me permission to need. It’s too much,


the same man continuing to be born

on the same day every year.


Sometimes you cut someone you love

from your life and it’s like refolding


a paper snowflake. Or it’s not.

I listen for the little girl downstairs.



Catherine Pikula holds an MFA in poetry from NYU where she was a Writers in the Public Schools fellow. Her work has appeared most recently in Cosmonauts Avenue and Prelude.