Botticelli: The Lamentation over the Dead Christ
Dismiss the body bent so awkwardly
across his mother's lap: there's no god in it.
Dismiss the saint holding the nails, the thorns.
Remember only the Marys: Salome,
Cleophas, Magdalen -
and Mary, fainting virgin, her body
distended, bulging, because she suffers more
than anyone can grieve unless she loosen
her human shape and become impossible.
How Beautiful the Beloved, Gregory Orr
The poem he's writing is a list
Of things he suddenly knows
He doesn't know
Where he's going - old man
At the start of a long, cold ride.
The list he recites is also long.
As long as he keeps making that list,
He's traveling towards the beloved.
This house, it's a thin place,
I think. The wind outside
might be the wind that summons
the faraway and brings, as near
as breath, the spirit of the dead
Who are you?
I ask the acres of emptiness
into which everything is gathered
and is -
turning the question
at last towards my own heart,
blind and stupefied - Who?