speech after long silence


On Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise”
(bronze doors of Alighieri’s
Baptistery) mute eyes
read open palms as messages –

clouds’ condensation (mist & spray)
solidifies in glints
of angels’ footprints.
Cerements & shrouds (all hands... away).

Sauntering winter by the river
leaves only this ladder
of snow – bronze adder,
subterranean shiver (moon-silver).

Anonymous Zaccheus of Topsfield
fined for making friends
with Indians &
Quakers (150 years ground

on, before the Revolution
bent the tune).  We are
the salt within the Rio
del Espiritu Santo (many thousand

gone).  We are the Lenten corn
in a maze of amnesia
to the horizon (hallelujah).
Old Hole-in-the-Sky – buffalo-shorn

tepee – pyramid cathedral, aye.
Dark matter between Bear
& Lyre; grey mother,
Jonah’s poncho (oaken sigh).


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