MICHELANGELO'S HAND

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 11.48.44 AM.png
  • Giancarlo steadies himself with one hand
  • against the fabled ceiling
  • as with the other he gently wipes away
  • the veil of centuries,
  • incense and wax, sneezes and coughs,
  • all that has turned
  • the Master's exuberant palette into elegant gloom.
  • They have been here for months, reversing time,
  • while the world debates the dangers, the proprieties.
  • Are they destroying the irreplaceable?
  • Making mundane the ineffable?
  • Could the Master really have been so brash?
  • Giancarlo smiles as his careful cloth reveals
  • a swath of purple so vivid it stings his eyes.
  • Bravo, Maestro. Bellissimo. Ben' fatto.
  • He moves himself along to mark the next small quadrant
  • he will assay, bracing himself against a browned leg.
  • With a gasp and the speed of a burn,
  • he pulls the steadying hand to his face
  • looking at it in confusion.
  • Slowly, he moves it back to where
  • it fits perfectly into the imprint of an earlier hand
  • pressed into the plaster when it was soft and white
  • awaiting the exact colors of sunlit flesh.
  • He stood here, just where Giancarlo stands
  • his hands raised as are Giancarlo's
  • his right laying in his figures, quickly,
  • before the matrix sets, his left testing the surface
  • where he will manifest a muscled thigh
  • when the stucco's texture is not too soft, not too dry.
  • Giancarlo shouts to the others and one by one
  • they mount the scaffold and place fingers, thumb, palm
  • into the revelation, here all these hundreds of years,
  • unseen by the generations looking up in awe.
  • Each touches, pulls back, and touches again,
  • feeling life charge from the Master's hand to his.
  • Joyful communion, gift of grace, a blessing and a wink.
  • Grazie, Maestro. Grazie, per tutto.