After a wax sculpture in Petah Coyne’s

Everything That Rises Must Converge

at Mass MOCA, February 2011


In the small gallery

every thing is dipped in white wax.

Paled flowers litter the floor

and there is a hint of a figure

forming from their accumulation:

a base building in a gentle curve

to a crown holding candles

and beneath, a veil of pearls.


The voice here, a flicker

of flame just extinguished,

sends me back to nights

at Nana’s spent

with the Virgin Mary.

All white shadow in dark room.

Her hands over heart,

eyes down.

I don’t remember her face

so today I circle seeking

and find below the veil

eyes that are mirrors

of stars and all the galaxies turning,

a hint of the first flaring forth of time,

a universe birthing

back then and still



A tour enters the room

as the guide describes

how the artist uses cast offs

of black-sand pig iron,

shredded aluminum, fallen trees,

and the statue within

was abandoned at the factory

because of some blemish

of the body, now forever

imperfect, held

in her little wax cave

to meet the gaze

of the curious.


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