Author's Notes: Anyone who has seen this sculpture at the San Clementi church will understand why I had no choice but to write it.
The Christ at San Clementi
For Aunt Cynthia
His eyes are closed to the candles beneath his feet.
A rose, yet to bud, has been tucked between his heels
its stem dangling
dangerously close to the flaming tip of a nearby prayer.
faded from one hundred years of sunlight
stains his chest, his forehead, and his hands—
a permanent reminder—
of the pain that swells from his stone face.
And yet his eyes
shut and serene in the second before death
do not show fear
It is as though at any moment he will awaken to die
a final breath pouring from his frozen lungs