Capela dos Ossos

on a Church of Bones, Evora Portugal

We pray in a church of bones
in which skulls outline graceful arches
of low vaults and whose columns are laddersChurch of Bones Evora
of stacked femurs. We admire its capitals
of craniums

It’s walls, unlike the idealizations
of Michelangelo,  are not fantasies
romanced in fresco but the real thing:
the stony remnants of once-respiring
antiquity

We pray in a church of bones
whose windows look out
beneath an osseous calcium dome

Our chapel of once-articulating skeletons
—a reliquary of  dreams—
rises over a promontory like a lighthouse
warning the world of muscle and bone,
spit and sweat, breath and blood
to steer clear of the promises of ghosts
and constantly sound to avoid being
beached in mud

We pray in a church of bones
We hope in a field of dreams
We hate or love between
unknown and unknown

by Jim Culleny
January 1, 2010

…………………………..

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