A sky-backdrop of mordant turquoise
smudged with bronze rust. Ivory
balcony intersects curved alcove.
In the background, pink battlements.

The center of gravity sits in the High
Priest's triangular white-gold cap.
Hesitant hands of aged Giuseppe,
young white-frocked Maria

hover beneath that woolly patriarch's massive
beard-fountain. By the door old Joachim is
fending off a pack of jilted hoodlums.
Striped heralds blow bull-roarers. Conceive,

conceive... conceive she does, like light
through glass (mirrored in the Lago al
San Leonardo
). This painterly minstrel
(Lippo Vanni) had a feel for multitudes -

bees swarming (droning) in the chancel below
barely distinguish between his perfect scene
and the pellucid serpentine of the marble barn
enfolding same (step into the dream, Tommasio).

And the Glory of the Lord shone round about them.
In the pluperfect of her girlish gown... veil
of wellspring everlasting
. Mist, maze, riddle...
slant of glancing eyes. Jerusalem.


Spring sweeps like a flowery bas-relief
along the stony reaches of the porticos.
Emblem or enactment? No one knows
how tender fingers melt to solid grief.

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