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  • Jesuits II
  • Leonore Wilson (bio)

“Art is the spirit made visible or vision made material.”

- Hans Hess, Lyonel Feininger

How can they pass the elegantly attired girl in the street, her body all earth of curve: hip and breast, puckered lips, buttocks and the colors she swirls about in: cardinal mauve, red-red, yellow-green like the veiny runners of the wild strawberry hailing its fruit down the rectory’s steps. And yet they walk by in their heavy cassocks, ignoring the playful shape, trusting the old forms, the old dogmas of order and balance, structure and space. Perhaps the juggling of new possibilities is impossible, but hasn’t it always been so— the clerics refusing to put an eye to Galileo’s lens, to that telescope that shook the world by its tail; but isn’t this the intention of God to will the pupil outward, isn’t this the sweetness of His temperament, to follow the incense of the panicle’s breath, the black bee coaxed into the meadow’s chest blowsy with flowers; isn’t the cup of creation inside the petal’s skin, the childhood light, the gush of flag-flying anthers, the entreating pistil gleaming white and wild as the Bethlehem star, doesn’t beauty entreat the Jesuits like the girl’s spirit-spark, isn’t she the flower and the bee in her visible house outrageous, shameless and quite divine? Time to cut the long umbilicus of soul-spirit, [End Page 111] forget the paten and pall, the delicate cruet and let the cumbrous celibate wounded heart sing. [End Page 112]

Leonore Wilson

Leonore Wilson is on the MFA advisory board of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. She is currently poet laureate of Napa County. Her work has been featured recently in such magazines as Nimble Spirit, Quarterly West, Third Coast, Madison Review, among others. She has been nominated for four Pushcart awards in poetry.



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pp. 111-112
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