In Ravenna with My Sister

For LR

 

At first

I saw just one light

crisp blue

 

line, nearly

skylike, there, high above

the rest

 

of the stone,

unkept, a bright slice

of the

 

fine mosaic

sets, unstressed. I reached out:

Hey, look

 

up, excuse me

there, look up.

 

She looked

like an exceptional criminal,

or a cranial

 

angel, or

like something of a lazy

hunter with

 

eyes unmet.

Faintly, she ground her

shoulders

 

down one

by one, falling taut: Look

up, please,

 

this is a very rare

picture of the earth.

 

Then, I saw so

many more, as if the blue slice

said, ‘at once

 

go’ or, ‘time

for vespers,’ and all of the shy

lines, the shier

 

colors, burst

forth and up, untaming, a light

and limited

 

take off not

to space of course but to the very top

and back: Look

 

up, my sister,

look up, my sister.

 

Suddenly I saw

that all of the lines were gone, even the sky-

like first lit

 

slice, gone, swift

as a storm’s turn, and in the dark

she looked

 

just like the

poet, but so much stonier than

stone, a wax-

 

ing statue for

all beautiful men and stone, so I looked

up: Silhouette,

 

linger me dimly,

then extinguish.