"These were instrumental salve for ancient, broken souls"
The smooth-skinned cherubim
speak from a venerated canvas
tinged with azurite and vermilion,
pondering the skies above
promise blessed peace,
a state we would not recognize.
We stand stock-still, cameras ready,
hoping to accost the subjects
should they come alive.
They have learned something, have they not?
Play the lute, the violin, you angels:
These were instrumental salve
for ancient, broken souls.
God would know we need this balm
right now, if he were still awake.
Within the frame, an invitation rises:
Come partake in fantasy, Hope’s hot air balloon
will float us in its basket. We smile,
imagine weightless ecstasy, yawning Nature.
Resolution blurs, yet focus sharpens.
Behold this analeptic image
But who are we to entertain
bedazzled fantasies of wing-blessed innocents?
Though we aspire to exaltation,
mortal flesh shall ever be confounded.
Mukund Gnanadesikan is the author of the 2020 novel Errors of Omission (Adelaide Books) and the 2023 children's picture book Clarence and Elroy (Pen-It Publications). His debut poetry chapbook, Petit Morts: Meditations on Love and Death, is now available in pre-order from Finishing Line Press.