By Georgios Michael Loring Tsangaris
Saint Ferdinand, patron saint of sleeping under a bridge. saint of trains crashing into each other on purpose. Saint of bleached crawfish shells in giant puddles after a storm: they could almost be alive again. Saint of purple morning glories engulfing a house that is made of tears. Saint of endless mosquitoes and the futile ceiling fans that blow them around the room.
Saint of cryptic feline governments with screeching yowling congressional meetings over discarded sardine cans, and what do they decide each night? To stay furry and creeping and desperate, like their beloved saint ferdinand who they can’t betray. this conclusion is the result of bipartisan cooperation.
Saint of patched tire tubes that always call out for more patches. Saint of rats in love. Saint of white clamshell sidewalks with blue and green broken bottles and how could so many beautiful things be made by accident? Saint of secret friends who whisper as they sit in the smashed car on cinder blocks. Saint of a thousand meals made from cabbages. Saint of cockroaches parading down the street declaring that they are actually not disgusting.
Saint ferdinand I declare you the saint of whoever stole my shoes, may their toes be forever free of fungus. You are the old saint that drank whiskey in the morning to take the edge off. you told us about plans to leave and turn your life around. You say you are going up to Oklahoma to build a pipeline, or to Arizona to dry out, any place but here really. You say you are leaving and we all nod seriously and say we will miss you. even though none of us think it will happen, not even you, saint ferdinand, we act like it is possible because believing there is a way out is what separates the dead from the living, and we do not want you to die.
You may come close to death when the water rises or hunger beckons but I know you now, saint ferdinand, your bed of skulls can’t fool me. You are a saint of the living. When we are on your street we are vibrant vessels filled up with your messages. You come pouring out of our mouths we can’t help it. I will praise you no matter how wrinkled your face gets. I will be reverent as I avoid your potholes. you will always be a lit candle in the church of my chest, saint ferdinand.