Thursday, January 6, 2011




Slowly we ascend the dome.

Not the far reaches of heaven’s gate do we pass
nor the blue sky
but the beautifully painted figures of Correggio
or Michelangelo.

Swimming in air, arms reach and press
reach and press
growing used to
resistance and
the soft flutter--

our newfound limbs
bird hollow
our sweet breath
            electric with flight
and then, glancing down

a dark hole in the earth
the mouth of the towers
broken teeth, ragged shell;

we leave

a burnt offering
            circling upward

and a slow shuffle of wings.

Joan Stone