Down the street from my apartment there is a triangular church, atop which birds sit throughout the day warming themselves and preening each other’s feathers. The church hedges are cut in the shapes of squares and rectangles that match the height of the church windows, and they fit trimly against the lobby door. There’s an extra entrance on the north side, a glass door that leads directly into the hall, for those who are coming to church and don’t want to the walk through the south lobby.
A couple of blocks north there’s a fifty-year-old house, the paint of which is cracked, chipped, and speckled with dirt. The gazebo at the front entrance has long since collapsed, leaving broken bits of wood laying in the weeds behind the bushes. On the porch hangs a stained-glass lamp, rocking in the breeze, and a soggy bag of moldy newspapers lies by the welcome mat. Covering the brick walls is a fresco of graffiti: drawings of cats with bull horns for ears; word plays such as, “make money take money”; faces with egyptian eyes and pursed lips. A three-inch-thick circular bolt chains a wheel-less bicycle to the cement just below the shattered windows.
Sitting next to the mailbox of this old house is a brand-new, light-grey picnic cooler with the name of the grocery-deliverering company, “Winder Farms”, written on the side. The cooler is full of fresh milk and bread.