La Grande Châsse

When the Midwest sky is that old-clothes, cardboard 
Color, and the hillsides are too visible, 
In their poverty of intention, exposed, 
I think, sometimes, of how you blocked 
The future, as if it were a scene, and wrote it 
In a letter before you drove all night through snow.

Twenty years after, I dream, and it is Sainte-Chapelle: 
The out-of-bounds, the treacherous clerestory; 
The vestibule’s diminution, and 
The rose window, cinereous in gloom. 
So much, at last, I want to tell you! The story 
Of the world, but it is night upon 

The stained glass windows of the wall. The virgin bows 
And would be taken. Joseph wakes. 
The nave is barred with lilies and with snow. Love 
Is unendurable. She will not know him. 
Joseph wakes, and at the angel’s voice, he goes.