Even seven decades later
I need to dissolve the walls
right now and burst
into flight like flushed quail
even as I'm staying to understand.

A man as strong as a seawall
is nearly overcome
and his woman holds his hand
to get him through.

Yesterday in the Sistine Chapel
Cesare our guide spoke
of Noah's ark making landfall:
and the first thing Noah did
was plant a vine and get drunk.

The church bells just outside
chime a Lenten hymn.

I finally understand
we are sublime,
like angels and night --
which is not the same as good.




Brian Koester has recently earned his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in Louisiana Literature Journal and on The Ghazal Page. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.