Sistine Madonna, Raphael, ca. 1513–14
I waited in the car. I looked at the brick
and wondered why we were there.
Why are we here if sorrowing is all
we are made for. Later, it happened
to me, differently of course, each has
their own way of being. Everyone’s
dead except me and Barbara. What
I said, what I did, that too disappeared
behind a curtain of twilight amnesia
that was masking the blankness of fate
replicating a thread as the round head
emerged. A child can be made to say
whatever you tell her to say. I said no
but nobody listened. The cherubim
are bored. This isn’t their scene.
Barbara and I are so done up—makeup,
hair, satin fabric—it feels like prom night.