Her grief is mild, contained.
It is a practiced anguish.
She folds herself around him
as he collapses—culmination
of these thirty-three years
anticipating this. Just this:
how the world cannot receive
the gift of perfect love. How
we don’t trust it, don’t believe in it.
Perfection is a terrifying suggestion,
even as presented by this lamb, and
hers was as great a sacrifice—greater:
what she must have agreed to,
embryonic promise still swelling
in her belly--yes, she says, and
please. Oh. These people, these eyes.
Sightless. He is blameless, beautiful:
pure gift of light. More than flames, more
than real. More than he—we. She
doesn’t weep or tear at her hair.
Her jaw is set, but she will not
gnash her teeth tonight—some kind
of betrayal in indulging her grief like that.
They both emerge from the stone—or
are they being swallowed by it?
Michelangelo rests too peacefully,
for too long now, for us to ever know.
My son, my love, she croons, softly,
softly, and her love becomes the whisper
that moves along his pale temple
and spills down over our heads:
compassion of the feminine divine.
Kim Cope Tait
Kim Cope Tait’s work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the U.S. and abroad. Her chapbook of poems called ‘Element’ was published in 2005 with Leaping Dog Press. Her full-length book, ‘Shadow Tongue,’ is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press.
The Ekphrastic Review
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