after “The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin” by Fra Angelico
No one has told me about death or sex. I’m too young
but the museum displays the gamut.
Fra Angelica for the prone Virgin Mary,
hands folded in prayer, no wounds,
haloed as disciples bathe her corpse. Above float
winged handmaidens kneeling under
They dance from dormition into ballet swoons.
On a stage of molten light they circle
How I wish to enter stage among pastel flowers
jeté past shadowy Harpies.
How I wish
musicians behind the Virgin plucked lute notes.
This wonderland of jewels shines brilliant
but deadly silent.
Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, won a Red Mountain Press Award for Shadow Light. Other books include Jackalope and a memoir, The Turtle’s Beating Heart (Univ. of Nebraska). At Haskell Indian Nations Univ. she founded the creative writing program. She teaches for Baker Univ. and lives on Tsuno Mountain. www.deniselow.net