Benches line the boardwalk
paint, peeling, blistered.
She sits like a wooden madonna
Faded eyes forward, facing the ocean
the ritual of wave and shore certain.
Bobbing heads and spines
curled like fish hooks,
bodies housed of brittle bone
and worn sinew,
rolled shoulders and fragile necks
silhouette the horizon. Waiting, waiting.
St. Petersburg's communion, breaking bread.
A swell of feathers and warm blood
the congregation gathers.
They linger, always near betrayal.
Each crumb given and received,
till there is none. Then on to other offerings.
But she will return
until the waiting is over
and the last supper served