Ecce Homo Padua

Poem by

At the Chapel of St. James, no one was there.

There were just empty, white plaster buckets

scattered over the floor, and almost everywhere

there were drips of hardened plaster–plaster

on wooden scaffold planking, metal brackets,

on plastic sheets strung like trapeze nets

meant to catch whatever drippings might fall

from overhead that could damage the murals;

suddenly, sitting on planking was a workman

covered in white–face, arms, T-shirt, pants–

sitting there as if present at the Crucifixion:

behind, at left, the expired Christ; by chance,

at right, an angel–prodding him to ignore us,

to look behind him and put down his thermos.




American Arts Quarterly, Fall 2016, Volume 33, Number 4