We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


I Am Love

It is evident from the lush opening credits, which recall the stylish script of postwar European cinema or the 1950s American melodramas of Douglas Sirk, that the Italian film I Am Love is going to have plenty of “sweep.” What we can’t surmise from the first half hour—which includes both a gorgeous montage of Milan in winter and the meticulous planning of an ext


Ecce Homo

The man in the royal blue turban stands
in a glass cage. His eyes, black rimmed halos
of hazelnut and honey, are disengaged.
He waits, as closed and silent as the doors

of the Mercy Gate. What would he ask me,
shocked and awed by his dignity, as he
is pawed by latexed hands that probe for bombs
and contraband: Are you afraid? Do you

believe your life is saved by my disgrace?
He submits, as serene as Siloam,
not creating a scene, not exploding
in rage. I avert my gaze as I wait.

But his eyes seize mine as the TSA
decides he’s harmless like me. His silence
seems to gauge the peril within my soul
as I stand before him in my glass cage.


Kiss of death

     (after an image by photojournalist Gerald Herbert)

That little tragedian, the dragonfly,
wings smeared with earth’s black blood,
stands glued to its stem like an orator.
It will never leave this soapbox now.
Just hangs there spread-eagled, a wee-Jesus
on a crucifix of grass. Some undertaker
draped its rainbow in a shroud of pitch,
shined its tar-ball shoes, closed those onyx
eyes for good. It has become an effigy
of itself. It wanted to tell us that it died
for our sins. But its lips are sealed.
This orator without a speech,
ne of the meek, so busy inheriting
the earth, it never noticed the evil tide
bubbling up from earth’s slit jugular,
it never saw that drop of gleaming crude
on Judas’s lip.