sacred allegory


You too within this dream
of a thousand allegories,
you too upon the shining
terrazzo stage,
sebastian standing,
elegantly pierced
by love or lust (or both)
and watching, your accuser,
your torturer, your lover,
demurely draped
in darkest shades of mourning.

You too upon the warm fabled earth,
the gold-ochred ground,
and how the light bleeds into everything!
siennese light compelling examination,
forensic exegesis of hidden moralities,
even the burnt bitter dark
umbrian shadows,
where mystics hide
and Judas
and the uncertain satyr
steal silently away.

Venetian red runs through
your veins, your artful heart,
and the lake beyond this stark-lit stage
is flat and calm and familiar
as the grand canal;
the golden hills
are palaces for Arcadian doges,
and gentle is the breeze that stirs
vanishing elms
upon elegiac hillsides.

Illumin’d by love,
wraiths of lovers embrace
upon the far-lit shore
beneath the city on the hill
half heaven, half earth;
and children shake the boughs
of the darkest tree
and play with the fallen,
golden fruit
without fear,
or consequence.


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