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On Saint Francis Adoring a Crucifix by Guido Reni
Cameron Morse (bio)

Last night, at Inklings’
Books and Coffee Shoppe,

when you asked if I am ever going
to stop writing cancer poems

and pursue other subjects, I thought
of Saint Francis tonsured

at the Nelson-Atkins,
his cadaverous hands folded

over his breast like wings, how the right
hand rests upon the left, as if

to perform CPR on his own stopped
heart, the breath sucked out

of his lungs, his eyes flung open
at the moment of arrest, the moment

arrested, and may you never know
what it’s like to be transfixed,

to don a stitched cassock and waft
like a dove in the updraft, caught

in the representation of a death
which is also your own.

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