Beauty adorns virtue, my Father says.
To save the family, and me, from the shame
of my disfigurement, he orders a corridor
to stretch from here to Santa Annunziata.
I beg forgiveness from the Holy Mother
at a hidden chink beside the altar.
Her perfect face is turned from me,
I am to reflect upon her piety.
My bedchamber floor maps out the world.
Every day I pace its length and breadth,
dip toes in oceans, trace the course of rivers,
trample the towers of the powerful,
reach the very edge, the land of monsters,
half-made things, strange and magical.
I slide down the wall, squat in this place,
feel light from the high window on my face.
The Garden of the Fugitives
These castings from the space
where flesh and bone used to be,
the moment fixed in gypsum.
Head tilts back, eyes roll, mouth loosens.