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So little
was the warrior, how she held out

her slimmed down arms
to the flowers I carried
and to all that which crumbled
in such a theatrical New York evening

she was lovely and bright, drinking
the last of the champagne to avoid
that burning in her throat—

And she raised her clear eyes
tearful but not weeping, bold, alone
divining with her torment’s radar
the fires

the sand-grain shouting
that assails us now….

A distant love was working on her rage,
the morning
that I left her on the stairs
she was a statue of the guilds
in the portal of a luminous
Florentine cathedral yet to come

Translated from the Italian by Gregory M. Pell

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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