Meditation on Murillo’s Saint Augustine in Ecstasy
I can’t think of him without thinking of
Xavier and his sadness, lying on
our sides in the grass, the twin freckles above
his upper lip, and all the painted stones
in the yard. How the hyacinth and foxglove
opened their little mouths at dawn,
the coins in the fountain pool ablaze;
how the grasses bent their heads in praise.
We sat between the light of two windows.
On the kitchen table beside us, a book:
Theology of the Body, and beside the book,
his arm, gleaming with sweat. Black tea
needs something sweet, he says, and I say
nothing, cookie crumbs glued to my teeth.
Back then, I prayed to be small enough
to live inside his painted coffee cup.
Shadow pushes everything onto the floor.
Tattered books, the hem of his garment
darkening, body losing form until only
his bright hands, bright face remain.
Cornered by the frame, a globe of flame,
red-winged bird, or is it his own heart
hovering above him? Augustine in paint speaks:
my heart is restless. And the fiery heart hurts.
Rachel Walker is a poet from Maryland. She currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she is an MFA candidate at UNLV. Her work has previously appeared in The Shore, Thimble Literary Magazine, and Mud Season Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
Join us on Facebook: