Angel: relief carving, 1689, above north entrance to Church of the Assumption, Anauri, Italy (image by Vladimir Shioshvili, 2006)
The angel asked, as his shoulders were pressed into the stone
Why me? And taken from the inhabited body,
Like the lyric voice rustling from memory forests,
Childhood rushes toward death, a wind in those woods,
Crashing through trees, dying out,
Settling like a white mist over everything.