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The Cathedral at Padua

Падуанский собор

Marvellous, and sad — yes, that’s what this temple
is — a joy, a temptation, a threat.
Eyes exhausted with desire
bum in the slits of confessional windows.

The organ melody rises, falls,
then swells fuller and more terrible,
like blood in dark church-granite veins
rioting in drunken mutiny.

I want to run out of these black arches,
away from purple velvet, away from languid martyrs,
their bare white bodies:
or temptation may possess my soul.

I need to sit at some remote old tavern, out
on the terrace, with a glass of wine —
there, right there, the stone wall has gone green,
turned green by the sea.

Hurry! One last try!
— but then, outside, you suddenly weaken —
Catholicism spreads its gothic towers,
like wings, in the blue sky.

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