Firenze

The finger of the old astronomer is buried here.
He tapped on the dark marble of infinity, impatient.
His daughter, locked in the nunnery, wrote him long letters.

A view through the telescope unpeels the universe
like a fig, or as a sculptor unpeels stone
from the pale blind faces of distraught lovers

now silent in galleries. If you speak of answers
or try to paint on eyes to see with, the guards
will hush you. Imprisoned in the cell of his aged body,

his own vision sheeted with clouds, the astronomer
remembered pointing his crooked telescope
along cobblestone streets to watch his lover

cross the old bridge over the Arno, hips asway.
He unpeels her dress: uncountable answers in her body.
When she slept in the afternoon, he slipped upstairs

to track the Sun in its golden circle around the house.
Their daughter sends him pears and sweet cakes, for his health.
While dying abed, he murmurs about motion unstoppable.