First Death by Denise Low

after “The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin” by Fra Angelico

Behind us lie halls of crucifixes. Bloody Jesuses
contort. Faceless gilt saints
adore Him.

No one  has told me about death or sex. I’m too young
but the museum displays the gamut.
Thank you

Fra Angelica for the prone Virgin Mary,
hands folded in prayer, no wounds,
beautifully

haloed as disciples bathe her corpse. Above float
winged handmaidens kneeling under
golden glow.

They dance from dormition into ballet swoons.
On a stage of molten light they circle
double Marys.

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

2 thoughts on “First Death by Denise Low

  1. Lindsey Martin-Bowen

    This beautiful, powerful poem is one of my favorites by Denise Low, who has penned numerous poems that have touched and enlightened me. Bravo!

    Reply

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