In Vatican City a cardinal walks
resolutely forward, his red train
flowing behind longer than a bride’s.
It’s silhouette passes by the open
windows of the atelier reflecting
crosses over the bodices of the
tailor’s latest scarlet creations.
Another black smoke day rises from
the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.
Blood shadows slowly abandon
St. Peter’s square for the trek home.
The sun’s golden trail will soon yield
to the purple plush of a Roman night.
its spectral color will caress the shoulders
of the woman with the straw hat and
black dress wanting to dance in the Trevi;
the black suit businessman ignoring
his even blacker shadow cast on
the terra cotta wall of his dextral side;
the young mother nursing her infant in
the safe T between bosom and clavicle,
praying to the priest behind the screen.