— Inspired by Dante Gabriel Rossetti's painting "Beata Beatrix"
Evanescent with light,
your upturned face captured
and held a fragile sanctuary
safely within its planes, curves and angles,
reﬂecting back such preciousness
which you were given upon your birth.
Your wild tresses were tamed
only by my hand, you said,
as I gathered their curling tendrils close,
subdued by their meadowed scent,
their shades of cinnamon and amber shining brightly
beneath the ravaging sun.
How you sighed in my arms, content.
How we whispered long beyond the endurance of candles.
The sundial in the yard marked our mere moments together
within the book of life, etching graciousness upon your fevered glances
as I soothed your brow, beside myself with concern
I tried so hard not to show as I kissed your mouth
time and again, as if to keep its savored scent fresh
within my shattering heart.
No other love
could pierce my breast such as you.
O Beloved, how I am torn by your absence,
riven by your trust in me
as you succumbed into the hollowed shell
that once housed such a bright spirit.
I leaned over your warm body,
so tender and innocent, still,
listening for an echo
of the tides which had surged so sweetly within your veins,
to hear only silence,
only the sound of my own falling tears.
Your constant quietude made its peace within me;
I vowed then to paint a canvas of colors so lush, so textured and rich,
you would again seem to glow with the shimmering of existence -
all of Florence would see the subtleties of your every nuance and gesture
and believe, as I did,
that you yet live.
Those beloved shall never perish as long as memory ﬂourishes
beyond the melodic hues of their nascent heavenly laughter.