Mary in thought, though her thoughts are free of sin
even in the sinful quattrocento.
An angel’s wing as wide and flat as a fin,
as if the announcing angel swam through blue
sky. This wing so richly outlandish, it could be
the glittering keel of a golden boat steered carefully
to shore, where it transformed itself into
something amphibian, whose words she heard
as if they had risen through miles of water, distant
and parsed into syllables like scuba bubbles
and saying merely what she already knew,
that even the perfect life begins below
and not on high, within the flux, the dreamy
flow that had caught her in its undertow.
© Kelly Cherry