wordsout by godfrey rust
Postcards from Florence  < 2 of 5 >

Santa Croce

Supposedly a pupil somewhere wrote
a vacuum is an empty space occupied by the Pope.

In the church of Santa Croce
we are invited to put coins in slots

and light a timed electric candle on one
of the brazen, gilt madonnas that simper

behind glass panels clutching bambini Christs
with the limbs and faces of miniature adults.

Pictures, pictures—none ever seen
by true daylight: Christ in Limbo

amongst the damned, and in judgment in the heavens;
Lucifer falling to a brimstone hell;

and high on the chancel panelling
Eve's painted face contorted by despair.

Second of five poems in the sequence Postcards from Florence.

Godfrey Rust 1996, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.