ledge of regal limestone


The cool dry tesserae congeal
in Sant’ Apollinaris –
dance, coalesce
into high figures of a royal seal.

Exalted features... recognizable.
Your neighbors (Limentani).
Riding bikes to the sea
to get away from scent of stable

(Mussolini’s racehorses).
That was then; this
is placid Minneapolis.
We’re not like them, of course (off-course).

The constitution of a human pledge
blazons these images
from pencil-boxes... pages
scratched out.  Natasha’s ledge

of regal limestone – living rock,
streaked honey-colored
marble.  Moss-layered
icon, limpid under chopping block.

Our covenants of disputation
rest on implicit ground;
Rhode Island in the round,
an Ocean State of transmutation.

The bond of love is clean as salt,
as plain as day.  We are
redeemed by holy fire.
The one you seek has left the vault.


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