The severity of the black and white
chiaroscuro in the cave's entrance hall
indicates not death but life
in all its strange new forms
flourishing almost out of sight;
I look at a blind white salamander
and I see the Madonna
washing her laughing babe in that
clear core-fed spring
while the fish flashing
like lantern-lit limbs
nibble at his fleshy toes;
her hair with its fulsome duskiness
and streaks of steel cascades
like the steady waterfall
barely visible in a nook
to the southeast;
her eyes seem to brim with tears
as she suffers physically
a premonition: all the world's sins
stretching fore and aft
neath an empty grey sky
as the bodies pile up revenant
and dust alike;
how bare the mind seems
of true comprehension as she looks
with half her vision
upon these fresh wonders just born.



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