"Now I know."
"What do you know?"
"I know that Miranda is a Boticelli angel."
-Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975-
She was pointing up at a bird.
I raised my face too,
and watched the sky drip down over the edge of the cliff
like bruised blood.
I don't think she saw.
Her yellow dress
blew like a flag in the hot wind.
She was screaming.
But I walked past her
and through the narrow cliff opening.
She didn't follow me
through the rocks
that were echoing with the sound of wind chimes.
I went up alone, crawling,
trying to reach the sky to save what was left.
What would happen if the sky all dripped through
the clouds, like a sieve?
What would hide us from the gaze of God?
The rocks were hot under my hands.
I took off my shoes.
Only my fingers pulled me
over the flat, pebbled ground.
One more rock opening, one more passage,
one more glance behind,
watching her, far away now,
crying, screaming things I never heard
in my deafness.
(My deafness through which I could, somehow,
still hear those chimes,
those beautiful, ghostly chimes.)
I wanted to lie on the earth
in that quiet place surrounded by the standing stones,
and watch the sky soak into the ground.
I wanted to reach the top
and free-fall to the sandy rocks.
But instead I jumped into the sky,
and it caught me in its hand
and lifted me up.