Sestina for Epiphany

       In turquoise, folded deep in the scales of rose,
       There is a bouquet that spikes the wonder-star,
       In the celestial pool of altered birth
       Where angels pirouette and soar;
       There, we are not allowed to suffer,
       Nor in that dream to tender sorrow.

       In a night-swirl, an angel will sorrow
       For the honeyed word, the almond rose;
       And by that hunger, she will suffer
       The fierce burn of that refulgent star,
       In whose aureole she yearns to soar
       Beyond the quietus of after-birth.

       We cling to that fruitful birth
       Of an earth-bound, incarnadine sorrow;
       Yet in the space of praise, we soar,
       And in passion, thorn a rose,
       And strike that last gazing star.
       In the bane of angels we suffer;

       In the turquoise mass we suffer,
       So steady-fixed on the birth
       Of one smooth gold sphere-star,
       Of one placid bled-out sorrow,
       By one prickled bouquet of rose;
       Yet, in the angel’s gaze we soar

       To capture, to reap, to quiet the sore
       Pleasures; then, in deep interruption we suffer
       The calyx spread, the pelvic rose.
       some labor before the longed-for birth,
       An angel will quiet the pinking sorrow,
       And, in singing-rite, provoke that solemn star,

       And that turquoise heaven that orbs the singeing star.
       On glistered angel wings we soar
       To make at last a weaning of sorrow,
       To numb the need to suffer
       The immortal cusp of birth,
       The uncommon thrust of rose.

       In the night-potent star, we are given angels to comfort and to suffer,
       While, we, in illusioned halos, praise and soar, and cry for birth,
       Until, at last, a gasping sorrow bouquets a rose.


Visual artist and poet Mary Marie Dixon focuses on the spirituality of women and nature. She is the author of Eucharist, Enter the Sacred Way (Franciscan, 2008). Her work has appeared in many periodicals, and she has exhibited in galleries across the Midwest.
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