a note from the management

my legs hold court before the painting
shapely in their wisdom
too young to think my heels too high
contemplating belief
and the weight of knowing

spanish whispers
foreign tongues
the way european floors echo
a more sonorous noise
american footsteps sound younger
less burdened with bloodshed and time

i am gazing at saint jerome
the splendor of banished ambivalence
his tortured eyes looking toward heaven
from a wall in the museo del prado
anchorite in a cell with wooden cross
skull and bible
doctor of the church
who removed a thorn
from the palm of a lion

disciplined docent approaches with
care so as not to disturb my stare
he places a note in my hand
and quietly informs me barcelona is burning
what good fortune to be in madrid this day
then vanishes upon the turning away

warm vellum in my hand
throbbing heart of a frightened lamb
seals breaking with the knowledge
there will be no more sacrifices

i allow my eyes the clarity
it read simply this

“My daughter, I created you to love.”

this is the word of god

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