Monday, June 4, 2012

Fresco Unfolding

How can it be that I, whoI am, didn’t exist before I came to be, and that, someday, I, who I am, will no longer be who I am?
Peter Handke

An angel dissolves her wings
in the sun's hot tallow
and falls from flight.

Landing as a languid shadow
on the basilica,
she lies silent, still.

Some version
of Botticelli's Venus
that evokes birth or death
depending on the light
and the observer

.* * * * * * * * * * *
Tall trees are laid-out, upright
like paint brushes that have flecked
the sky with swallows.
Spring began this morning.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Under a stone gazebo
a couple sips coffee
from blue china cups. Some oranges
and croissants sweeten their plate.

The man recognizes his wife
but no longer feels estranged
as if drawn to her face
for the first time. Familiar
so beautiful.

Yet, the woman feels estranged
in this long body lacking
her original wings.

Instead, she has grown others
that lift and drag,
halt or hasten the breath
pale or flush the skin.

These emotions bewilder her
rhythmic, almost constant
as the island cicadas.

* * * * * * * * * *
Clouds widespread
now fade, lingering
as threads of a torn veil.
The man squeezes her hand
and whispers --
I loved you before you were born
and now you have come back.

He glances at the poplars
and hears the the distant song
of winged sirens.
Every seven years they return
from somewhere.

He remembers and whispers again,
You have come back -- from somewhere.
And they all know
except you, Francesca.

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