Of an Aesthete
For love of the Cleveland Museum of Art
What the museum is not—
crowding, touching, breathing sometimes,
just free easy looking,
distancing and whispering.
But my back won’t concur
and there is nowhere to sit now,
no place to contemplate
the overwhelming proof
of God on every wall, every
gallery a devotional to creation.
The Christ Child sleeps alone in heavenly peace
on a bed of marble, obeying the rules,
his illustrated life surrounds him,
from angelic innocence to piercing agony.
What would we know otherwise
if not this promise of preservation
in this stone pantheon, light swelling
through the open-sky atrium, so near, so eternal.