Issue 131, Summer 1994
La Grande Châsse
When the Midwest sky is that old-clothes, cardboard
Color, and the hillsides are too visible,
In their poverty of intention, exposed,
I think, sometimes, of how you blocked
The future, as if it were a scene, and wrote it
In a letter before you drove all night through snow.
Twenty years after, I dream, and it is Sainte-Chapelle:
The out-of-bounds, the treacherous clerestory;
The vestibule’s diminution, and
The rose window, cinereous in gloom.
So much, at last, I want to tell you! The story
Of the world, but it is night upon
The stained glass windows of the wall. The virgin bows
And would be taken. Joseph wakes.
The nave is barred with lilies and with snow. Love
Is unendurable. She will not know him.
Joseph wakes, and at the angel’s voice, he goes.