wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Postcards from Florence  1 of 5  HOME 



Duomo

God doesn’t like my hat. The guard
in the Cathedral orders me to take it off, 

and so my balding head is cruelly exposed
to His minute examination. Everywhere 

sinners in low-cut tops and baggy shorts
flash their Minoltas at the frescoed saints 

and leave unjudged. Once the sanctuary was approached
one day each year by a single trembling priest,  

with certain death the price for anyone
careless enough to touch the convenantal ark 

of the same Lord God of Israel
whose dreadful jealousy must now be satisfied  

by rage at my straw hat, that cost
twelve thousand lire from a Pisan market stall.