The church had an uneven floor.
It was like small paralyzed waves
Of cream-colored and dark blue stones.
Light came in from a high-up small window,
Spread as if the petals of a flower.
Some of the light fell on the floor,
Looked like the scattering of silver coins.
No blue skies in the paintings, only gold,
Madonnas with large, egg-shaped Byzantium eyes
And stiff lips and stiff cheekbones.
The bride thought that there had been
No blue skies in her life, only black,
Soft, clutching velvet and its lint.
There was a gold ikon that lost
Its body and only a brilliant gold head
And a twisted, thin wire remained.
Inside her, red lava poured from Venus' lips.
But in front of her, by her,
The wax dropped from the burnt candle
And ashes raked into a neat pile
Had a ring in a silk-lined pocket.

Duane Locke
DUANE LOCKE holds a Ph.D. in English Renaissance literature and is Professor Emeritus of the Humanities at the University of Tampa, where he was Poet in Residence for over twenty years. He has had over 4,700 poems published. Over 2,000 were published in print magazines, such as American Poetry Review, The Nation, and Bitter Oleander. In 1999, he became a cyber poet, having over 2,700 poems published in E-zines to date. He is the author of fourteen print books of poetry, and in 2002, added 3 E- books, The Squid's Dark Ink, From a Tiny Room, and The Death of Daphne. He is also a painter, having many exhibitions, his latest at the city art museum in Gainesville, Florida. Also a photographer, he now has over 160 photos in e-zines. He does close-ups of trash tossed away in alleys, two of which were featured in the first issue of The Adirondack Review. This is his fouth appearance in TAR.
The Adirondack Review