We are sadly all the leaves falling, singly in October, as if yellow breaching orange were the Lord letting go. Scale the mountain, go down the mountain and then pretend you invented religion. I remember long talks on I-91, mostly about politics, sometimes about being Catholic, and I remember driving him around western Massachusetts after his stroke so he could look at farms, conversation mostly but not all the way gone. At night I sleep downstairs, no longer willing to upset the sleep of others with my nightmares, my tossing and turning, my quiet sobbing because I will no longer deny all the shame and sorrow. At three a.m. on Main Street, shivering and insisting on walking it yet again, rehearsing something under clear skies that for once aren't close enough to touch. The dead chickens will not forgive me or am I speaking now to my own capacity for forgiveness? Prayer slips its moorings, disappears in soft mist rolling in the distance, familiar and wordy. And what else, in the end, was this empty mouth for?