In prison I thumb
The Agony and the Ecstasy.
At the hour of rite,
I turn Michelangelo face-down,
offer Maori woman and child
coffee without violence,
biscuit with no ice terror;
we do not discuss their crimes.
For one hour a week,
the ordinary and the unthinkable,
unchiseled skin and ta moko.
They do not know or care of Florence –
who are the Medicis, anyway? –
yet it breaks my heart when he leaves,
her babe in his arms,
and tears cloud her marble eyes –
highly grained, low grade.
(First published in The Miscreant, Issue 9C, 2016.)