Cathedral - Believer Magazine


by Matthew Girolami
Illustration by Madeline McMahon


Matthew Girolami
14 Snaps
Before the war we bury the windows
Before we bury the windows we take them down

The tallest of us altar boys 
lifts a purple blade from a frozen robe

& holds it with both hands 
before handing it to me
at the bottom of the ladder

I don’t understand how anyone can make
a shard of glass a weapon

blood would draw its borders on both of us
my hand          your chest

The boy peels a red plate from the flat dusk
behind Christ

We’re told heaven is beautiful but I think
I’ll miss parsnips          coriander
sky tempering the aluminum gutters
of our houses

The boy hands me two hard fingers 
brought together in benediction

then the bow of a halo like a bottom lip

The stained glass makes its way underground
& makes way for sunlight 

There’s a basement where we wait out the war

We touch each other’s cheeks light with hair
I think I’ll miss my nose          how water
damage makes cologne of the missals

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