The Entourage and Saint Rosalia
In any case, to hoist a revived saint
towards Heaven is no routine undertaking,
not even for eleven cherubs’ might
combined. No waif, Rosalia. No firm
foundation, baby cloud beneath her feet.
A fleshy human figure, when at rest,
plummets through a water-vapour platform.
Thus, both saint and fluffy scud must be
continuously elevated and
aligned, cloud-lid with saint-feet. By itself
this could be counted satisfactory miracle.
But to admit the truth, the little guys
(although their gender markings are obscured)
more demonstrate entropic disarray
than crackerjack coordination. Two
are grappling with the saint’s redundant
draperies, de trop considering
her dress, full-length though form-revealing,
preserves her modesty as she ascends.
(Say, that Van Dyck! He sure can render duds!
The patrons’ wallets gaped in raw desire.)
Five cherubs only of eleven nerve
themselves to the Hereafterish Heave-Ho,
put shoulders to the Celestial College Try,
the Intercessory Up-and-At-Em, raising
female mass and cumulus puff in tandem
above a shrouded Monte Pellegrino.
The eighth unsurely aims a floral ring
toward the crown of Rosalia’s head, while perched
snugly on a separate cloudling. Hey
posy baby! Number eight! How ‘bout
you pull some weight here! Though when pleading for
a quickly putrefying population,
accessorizing never harms the case.
Speaking of which, our cherub nine has nabbed
a rotten skull and carries it aloft
as evidence for the empyreal Judge,
or maybe as a souvenir. The tenth
screws up its face and holds its nose: Stink-O!
The final fellow sends an earthward glance
toward miserable humanity outside
the picture plane. Its flings its arms
toward Heaven and Rosalia’s transfixed eyes.
Take heart, ye sufferers! Help is on the way!
it motions. And perhaps the people,
bubo-exploding, gratefully take notice.
Rosalia, blessed soul prepared
to supplicate her Saviour and His Mother,
extends her arms, with palms open and curved,
toward the luckless populace of Palermo.
Her gesture welds calamity with Grace.
Unless her action indicates the roiling,
wreathing mass of cherub pudge: Oh Lord!
Can we do no better? Has it come to this?
David P. Miller
David P. Miller is a pushcart nominated poet and former member of the Mobius Artists Group in Boston. His chapbook The Afterimages (Červená Barva Press) was published in 2014. He has been published in many magazines including Ibbetson Street and Oddball Magazine. David is a librarian at Curry College.
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