All Tales have been Told

All Tales have been Told


It’s cold in the gallery and far too sterile for inspiration.
White walls display still-life Polaroids, an artist’s arrangements
of humans, animals, flowers, and peculiar bits of nonsense.
I’ve heard this story on a previous occasion.
I’m wishing myself across the Atlantic
to the grandiose surroundings of a French palace
converted for the purposes of a public museum.
Antiquity’s bards have relinquished their tales
to heedless generations who pass them by without a second glance.
On the Louvre’s ground floor, in the Michelangelo gallery
Love revives Psyche with a kiss.
I can imagine Canova in his dusty workshop
skillfully smoothing a large block of white marble
to show the subtle grace of eternal lovers.
Choosing for his story their final moment,
when the soul in deadly languor
awakens again to her lover’s compassionate embrace.
I wonder how many eyes
have traced the delicate lines of their supple figures
in breathless anticipation of a completed kiss.
How many expect their movement at any instant?
Some say, “all tales have been told”
then art and word must exist to translate them countless times.
For in each resides a trace of the divine
and many tiny fragments of a transcendental truth.