Excellence

Corrugated metal sheet by Christian Guthier

Peg says
Luca Signorelli gave even
Michelangelo

ideas, but
exiting from the duomo
in Orvieto

the excellence
of sun still
seems greater to me

than Signorelli.
How great? As great as a cicada
in dry sawgrass

awakened
like a spark; or so it might
feel to you too

if you’d grown up
next door to a casket maker’s
storehouse, a Quonset

hut, salvaged
War Department junk—its galvanized
corrugated sheet metal

like chrome rubbed raw & dull
by year of steel wool
and shivering hot at noon—

it would burn you
burn you good & sorry
if you touched

fingers to metal
while peering through
the grimy windows,

all those market-rate
coffins stacked flat inside on sawhorses
and dark as lead doorways.

Photo: “Corrugated Metal Sheet” by anasararojas; licensed under CC BY 2.0