The Immaculate Conception: (after a painting by Bartoleme Esteban Murillo)

Like a recurring dream,
you imagine the woman
clothed in white, wrapped in deep blue.
This woman balances on the crescent moon,
on the backs of cherubs and their clouds.
Her eyes are not interested in you,
not concerned with the growing mystery
you assign her: the irony of God
growing in a virgin. For now,
she needs the open space of heaven
and your intermittent vision
that will make her materialize again
and again until you get it right:
her flowing hair, her folded hands,
that hint of gold behind her back,
enveloping her like mist from God’s mouth.
Enveloping you as completely as dogma,
the genuflected knee, the thin voice
that repeats the same prayer
and gives it solid blue breath.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

If we, the people, are ourselves responsible for the good of the state, then we have the same obligations that a medieval monarch once had.
Terrance KleinOctober 18, 2017
Poet Kim Bridgford hopes to publish an essay on every woman poet who has ever lived through the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline, which she edits.
Colleen DulleOctober 18, 2017
The Catholic Church in the United States is being transformed by its black and brown parishioners, whose numbers and voices are rising.
Mary C. CurtisOctober 18, 2017
Pope Francis prayed for the victims of a terrorist attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, that left hundreds dead and countless wounded in one of the deadliest attacks in the country's history.