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



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.