Our Lady of Damascus

I saw old silver
in the light of altar lamps,
not knowing from the slant of your eyes
if a tear were poised
to be shed …
not knowing if it were the soft apple
of your cheek
as in Leonardo’s dream of you
reddening …
not knowing if it were the smile
carded like mystery
out of the dream of centuries.
I only know – you are the spell,
you the dream
you the bosom … the buffer of orphans
coaxed into one womb sheltering
from the obscene canine teeth
of winds,
from the unpeopled black-out
of night.