Traveling alone, she fell in the Sistine Chapel–
collapsed in a whirl, as if a gust of wind
struck her weak ankle and set her spinning–
her skirt inflated, but she did not rise
to bump her head beneath God’s fingertip,
nor did she push Adam aside.
Instead, she leaned into descent
like a scarf tossed in a dance,
and onto the marble floor
she puddled, still looking up . . .
A crowd gathered; then men
carrying a canvas litter
arrived with a knock
Avanti, she whispered,
and they lifted her up to their shoulders–
a marvelous blur moved beneath her–
and before her: God’s plan.
first published in Bryant Literary Review, Spring 2010