Every order of angels stakes out a hallowed ground, nesting in some exposed crevice of the city like their Columbidae cousins. The Ophanim like subway tunnels, the thrumming of them, the rush of air. The Cherubim prefer something a little more stately, expensive dining rooms where their oxen faces lip at the china plates, and their wings brushing back and forth lazily.
(Seraphs try not to fit more than two of them on the same plane of physical existence at once. It crowds out the quarks.)
The Dominions gather on the steps of the capitol building. One of them picked up a smoking habit from an alderman, and now they all carry those cardboard cases tucked in the folds of their palliums. You can see them there sometimes, lighting cigarettes with the fire of their swords.
The Powers like shipping yards, loading docks, late at night. They wrestle one another in the gravel, all six arms flailing, monstrous mouths laughing through bared teeth. The strength of the Lord likes a headlock, though it’s difficult when there are three heads. Principalities tend to congregate in the Art Institute—they trail through exhibits in twos or threes, brushing against people’s coat sleeves, speaking to one another in dead men’s poetry.
The low-level angels—the unaffiliated stragglers, loners, and miscellaneous celestial riffraff—find places wherever they can. Last month it was a hole in the wall Thai place where one of them was a server; the month before, it was the public library. They play card games in Starbucks and bless the baristas under their breath—sometimes when they’re gathered at the lakeshore, they like flashing their halos, distracting bikers and joggers.
Act your rank, the Virtues admonish them, when they see the mere angels giggling into their feathers.
Make us, the angels jeer, and race away laughing, their wings catching the wind like sails.