Click here to listen to Joanie Mackowski read this poem.
She's heard it too often before, waited in too many
rooms and dresses for each moon-
faced angel, each with a different approach.
This is the worst. The walls a botch
of brick, no window, not a thread
of drapery—the beams so low if Mary stood
she'd knock her head. Yet an inch
from her head hangs the dove, outstretched
in a pink and blue bubble: it will land in her hair.
But Mary doesn't care. She stares far
away, toward my knees and the rick-
rack edge of the rug in the gallery. She doesn't look
at the book, open in her lap. Not the usual book: it's a picture-
book, a museum catalog maybe, Four
Centuries of Annunciations—anyway, it's open
to a dime-sized, dim, and inverted replica of this same
painting here. How clever: a mirror in her lap,
like the pinprick infinite hope just plopped