Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Holy Women at the Sepulchre, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-1311.

This morning, I am the woman in orange.
My sister, the faithful mother in green,
and someone we know well is the harlot
in her fading scarlet pleats.

Our heads, sweet Duccio, so identical and round,
so filled with a species of love
like duty and doubt,
defy pious hands.

You give us a Tuscan angel, extracted from Matthew,
modeled on our brothers, our husbands,
and perched on the emptied sepulchre
like a bird, or a bat.

Our varieties of myrrh, he suggests, you suggest
without words, our various aloes might as well
be poured onto the ground,
absorbed in sand.

Dead Duccio, we knew your children who gave away
their inheritance to their mother,
blessed woman who mixed these pigments
that settle into our strong faces.

Dead Duccio, every morning of our lives at mass
one woman or another rises up again, as a mountain,
as a mourner on a stuccoed wall that opens
into a Gospel we bless with our open eyes.

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