The day I wed silence, the bells were stopped in the campanile,
the flut-flut of the candles were extinguished, the doves
on the red-tiled roof tucked their beaks under their wings,
even their pinfeathers held down by the light of the eclipse.
Held back, the music, but for the note of my ring as I grasped
the goblet to sip the dark wine, my lips speaking softly
the unalterable vows. The shadow of a bishop in his crozier
and miter leaned over to clip off my hair with his golden shears.
I lifted my arms heavenward for the linen smock, the 'little cottage'
of the chasuble which I will never abandon. The Virgin in her lunette
shifted the Babe on her hip and leaned down to put
the Muse's chrism on my mouth, to both bless and seal it.