Virgin Annunciate by Antonello da Messina
Virgin Annunciate, 1476
This time only one hand startles,
Losing her place in the book of hours.
The other goes on worrying the light
Habit of modesty protecting the angels.
Will it be the image bound to emerge from this blur of words
Shuddering through her? A full moon of the language of rising up
And coming down, building up and tearing down, swelling until
Everything she sees echoes with its own formation and demise.
For surely there must be warning tremors,
The odd visions, vibrations of traversed realities
When an angel of the Presence who has waited so long
Wends his way toward you.
Last week the earth shifted and only she stumbled.
She kneels because she cannot sit, the drawing hum
Driving her from room to room convinced the
Source is in the other.
Twice she dropped the anachronistic match
Lighting evening candles, her mother chiding
You want to set the whole world afire?