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In the Bode-Museum


ISSUE:  Spring 2020

 

On a narrow plinth in the corner 
of the gallery, a stone portrait:
a man, his mouth unlipped

by fire, marble of the face 
peeled off in the blaze. But the clothes
were spared somehow, as though

above the neck he was hung 
on a noose of flame. And still 
one unburnt eye, looking up 

over the broken shoulder 
to where his sculptor stood. 
But hush. No one is coming.

We are handed our lives
by a fierce work. Onto which 
blank space will I lock my gaze 

when my father 
is gone? How am I to wear
his love’s burning mantle?

 

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