Cathedral, 1950, Dimensions Unconfirmed – A Poem

Cathedral, 1950, Dimensions Unconfirmed 

after Norman Lewis

Painted black before itself like the portraits you used to make
before the war, before you learned quickly that the world would not grow
sick of itself so easily; you had to fog the mirror to show
what was really there.

Looking in a blood stained glass window of a
dawn that makes the night drip. See we have made blurs
of ourselves; this life is nothing but smears. Our monuments
run wild like mazes made of red paint flowing downhill.

How could you see so clearly submerged in oil
That this foundation of our crosses sinks deep.
It creases our hands, our eyes, our lips.
We cannot speak clearly with the holy voice of tongues.

Speak to us, baptize this city in canvas,
make us aware of what we are doing.
Bring us to the fierce palpitations of living color
moving in avenues that never spiral again


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