Posts Tagged ‘Michelangelo’




Michelangelo wrote his love

forty-eight funeral epigrams—

not one of them brought back

the shoulders like chiseled marble,

the purr of his voice, his lips raw silk

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It is not so much the look on Mary’s face,
as if she is yet untouched by the tragedy.
It is not so much the diagonal drape
of the dead Christ’s arm, nor the empty folds
of the virgin’s dress. It’s the name that catches me,
Michelangelo Buonarroti, chiseled in the sash
that runs between Mary’s breasts, as if to say,
“This is my work, and it is good.”

Oh Mary, holding your son, dead,
what do you know about wanting to own something
that cannot be owned? Just this morning
my own six-year-old girl curled into my lap
and reached up with her right hand to clasp
my shirt in her fist. You never ever go, she said,
sprawling across me, loaning me all of her weight.

I love to find my signature in this girl—
the greenish gray color of her eyes,
the way she loves to read. The color of her skin,
her silly side. Mary, how did you do it, say goodbye?
I run my hands over the startling muscles of her legs,
trace the shape of her jaw, the length of her neck.
Oh the body, how it loves to touch, oh the soul, how
it blossoms by letting go. And the ego, oh how it wants

to say, this is mine, this is mine,
though the mind knows the way that all things go—
even the glass surrounding the Carrara marble,
even the marble, the cathedral, the square.
Even the girl, who leaps up to chase the cat.
Even her mother retelling the story of longing
and love and fear. Even the story itself.

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