The Assumption of the Virgin
Close in, it’s a matter of scattered
Crosshatches, tiny plus marks, plus
A turbaned figure peeking through
A curtain forbiddingly darkened.
He sees a solemn surgeon’s fingers
Taking her fading pulse. Palpable
Sadness, but taken down quickly,
As in a diary of sketches. But step back
Three or four paces and you see
A cloud of a body consumed in smoke
In a funnel rising toward heaven.
These are the steps the turbaned head
Had not taken, this is the assumption
That Rembrandt wanted you to make.
David M. Katz
David M. Katz’s books of poems include Stanzas on Oz and Claims of Home, both published by Dos Madres Press. He’s also the author of The Warrior in the Forest, published by House of Keys Press. Poems of his have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, and The Cortland Review. He is currently working on a new poetry collection, tentatively entitled Money. He lives in New York City and recently retired after a 40-year career as a business journalist and editor.
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