The nuns in single file tiptoe lest they waken us,
immune to history.
The Lorettine, the Brigittine, the Carmelite
unstitch through the streets
their one street. . . .
Theirs is the game, the love, where everyone holds hands
because they can’t let go; they pray and wait;
and I believe
the opposite of bravery, which is not cowardice
They pray and wait,
a surfaced stream over a dry terrain,
the inseam of a stitch, where what you see is just
delay. They wait,
and our impatience is
the landscape they move through,
cold, black, apparition-like over the endless flat,
dragging what burns from the heart of the green hills.
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