To the thirty-something across from me on the
languid train from Florence back to Pistoia,
rowdy years perhaps behind but just barely,
punkish vibe humming
in the shock of disheveled, sun-bleached curls
atop a chiseled yet youthful face. Such day-to-day
subtlety must have ripened this place for
certain keen sculptors.
To the faded jeans and t-shirt concealing form
with as much tact as an ex post facto
fig leaf, rolled-up sleeves spilling bronzy biceps--
curvature of a life
spent lifting buckets of paint or plaster,
kegs of wine or maidens by the bare haunches.
To the staggered stance in the carrozza stairwell
and gaze out the window.
Thank you for the contrapposto, for essence
captured in a pose—the animal warmth and
human ingenuity that Michelangelo
conjured in marble.
Peter Tolly has studied and practiced creative writing at Northwestern University--where his poetry earned the Faricy Award in first place and appeared in the campus literary magazine Prompt--and more recently at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts in Paros, Greece. He is currently based in Wisconsin.
The Ekphrastic Review
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