wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Postcards from Florence 2 of 5  HOME 



Santa Croce

Supposedly a pupil somewhere wrote
a vacuum is an empty space occupied by the Pope.
 

In the church of Santa Croce
we are invited to put coins in slots  

and light a timed electric candle on one
of the brazen, gilt madonnas that simper 

behind glass panels clutching bambini Christs
with the limbs and faces of miniature adults. 

Pictures, pictures—none ever seen
by true daylight: Christ in Limbo  

amongst the damned, and in judgment in the heavens;
Lucifer falling to a brimstone hell; 

and high on the chancel panelling
Eve's painted face contorted by despair.