By Cleopatra Mathis
It is not the angel riding a goat,
trying to make him go. It does no work
with refusal or guilt, which loves
only its contorted self. But fancies instead
my terrier's long pink tongue,
how it teases out the bone's marrow,
tasting with all its muscle.
The angel is silver, but so is the goat
and the box on which they perch,
a Victorian gesture in the mansion
where I spent the fall. They have followed
me home, their permanent shine presuming,
while around me, everything withered,
slowly froze, and began its turn
toward white. The snow
is nothing but a great emptiness,
and I'm tired of trying to find a secret there.
But look—one leaf
skittering across the glazed surface
catches its stem to stand upright,
the shape of a hand waving.
Daniel spent almost the entire day at the FIRST robotics kick-off -- apparently Stephen Colbert, will.i.am and the Miami Heat coach did too -- while the rest of us spent a lovely several hours in unseasonably warm Baltimore. We started at the C. Grimaldis Gallery to see Chul Hyun Ahn's absolutely amazing Illuminated Void exhibit, constructed primarily of tinted glass, mirrors and light, creating illusions of great depth, one of which could be stood upon. Then we walked across the center of the Mount Vernon neighborhood to the Walters Art Museum, where we went to see the Faberge eggs and the Egyptian exhibit; there was a Three Kings celebration going on, too, but it was targeted mostly at kids.
From there we walked to the Baltimore Basilica, also known as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, America's first cathedral begun in 1806, still decorated for Christmas and Epiphany. We came back toward DC to pick up Daniel and I took a walk to watch the gorgeous sunset; it was still nearly 60 degrees. We had toad in a hole for dinner, then watched New Orleans beat Detroit -- a game I would have enjoyed more had one of Adam's friends not come over and behaved completely inappropriately. The Ravens will get to play the Texans next week. Here are a few photos of my day:
Here I am standing on the central piece in Chul Hyun Ahn's exhibit, a dizzying spatial illusion...
...which is actually only this far off the floor.
Then we walked past Mount Vernon's George Washington Monument...
...where we saw the Gatchina Palace Faberge egg...
...and this sculpture of a lion created in Egypt around 360 BCE.
The Basilica in Baltimore was extensively renovated in 2006. Baltimore's Archbishop O'Brien learned last Friday that he will become a Cardinal next month.
This little bird lives in one of the bushes on the grounds of the basilica.
The colors of the sunset were gorgeous back near home.