for George Scala
I run into the courtyard with a broom
to scare the angels. They’re eating
bread crumbs and hotdog buns
from the ground and stealing
quarters from the fountain.
They flock from one tree
to the next as I wave my broom
around like a flag. They have dark
eyes and their wings are scarred.
They bite each other and me
with tiny mouths. In another ten million
years their teeth will fall out. But today
is today. Their haloes burn
away the leaves of the Norway
maples and singe the broom’s
whiskers. Their droppings clog
the grates. Poor things, the angels,
bored to death by everything
they understand. Tell them a joke,
and they fall asleep,
weeping. They know every punch line
ever known to man.