The bathtub, or porphyry basin, valued at two billion dollars, is housed in the
Pio Clementino Museum, Vatican. It was commissioned by Emperor Nero,
remembered for burning down Rome and murdering his relatives.
the idea of it/ hauled from Egypt/ to wash/ walk around it once/ don’t touch/ it’ll crack/ purple
porphyry/ smooth as glass/ there’s a wolf in the Vatican/ or the shadow of one padding the halls/
bring a chisel/ walk around again/ more porphyry/ a sarcophagus in the corner/ wear black/
you’re a woman/ grandmother wore a black dress to church every Sunday/ covered her head/ no
extra nickels/ but something for the sunday basket/ if you see the pope, kneel/ cover your hair/
don’t be rude/ don’t say you don’t like his hat/ the white robe/ cardinals have beautiful robes/
gabardine/ gorgeous heft and folds/ everyone looks good in red/ joseph had a pretty one/ lots of
colours/ envy’s a stickler/ last time around/ watch/ women will try to steal something/ sneak it out
under their skirts/ Eve tried/ her arms weren’t long enough/ a friend wants to be a priest?/ a sin
but not a wolf/ she won’t be pope either/ you brought the chisel?/ chisel her name/ chisel yours.
Kathleen Goldblatt (she/her/hers) is the author of Our Ghosts Wait Patiently (Finishing Line Press.) She reflects on poetry during long walks with her dog, Archie, who never tires of listening. Her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, Amethyst, The Healing Muse, Psychological Perspectives and The San Antonio Review. Kathleen loves the sea and feels lucky to live in Rhode Island, the Ocean State. She is a mental health advocate and a Jungian psychoanalyst by training.
The Ekphrastic Review
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