The day we wanted to walk to the cathedral,
it rained. I would have pointed out the stained 
glass roses, the dim alcove where the figure 
of the crucified Christ was laid prone on a table, 
one plaster foot extended so the faithful 
could seal the wound with their lips. There is 
perhaps no real lesson here—only another 
illustration of how we're made to think 
we could never offer enough atonement 
for the great audacity of being alive 
past childhood, past war, past calamity, past 
ruin. I wanted to say, I've lit enough votives
for a lifetime of several conflagrations. 
I wanted to just sit on a wooden bench,
no longer waiting for a voice to tell me
anything about how I should live
my life. I wanted to walk out into the damp 
air, believing that was enough absolution.

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