It does me no injury for my neighbor
to say there are twenty gods or no god.

— Thomas Jefferson


He set them around his yard like birdhouses
— small, painted boxes, all colors —
and that’s what I thought they were, at first.
He’s overdoing it, I said to myself,
though I like birds well enough.

He didn’t put seed in, as far as I could tell,
though I don’t spend all my time looking.

But last night there were candles
in all those whatever-they-ares,
and I saw him, my neighbor,
going from one to the next,

kneeling at each and chanting.