This poem appears in the Spring 2021 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe, click here.

An open tempietto holds the scene:
rib-vaulted ceiling, columns, land
and forking road beyond, then sky, marine,
a ship at anchor.  On Saint Peter’s hand

a dove is posed.  He reaches to bestow
the Spirit on one kneeling man, while three
await the holy gift.  Their faces show,
with patient attitude, deep faith and piety.

Two graybeards at the left look on; a third,
less gnarled, may be a skeptic.  Past the frame,
strange, fleshy plants, like squid, are linked.  The bird
of Heaven can hallow all, a living flame.