Poetry

The Nun with the PhD

The most beautiful woman I ever saw was a Dominican Sister. Her face bright and eyes crystalline, the colour of pale diamond. In them I saw the sky. When she adjusted her scarf momentarily an apocalypse of Titian orange. Not that her hair streamed down glorious. More a restraining of weight, of bobby-pinned kabōd, more a vanishing. I wonder ten years later which is true. “She was beautiful because she turned away.” Or: “Drawn by beauty she turns away.” That moment in St John Lateran remains, when in the middle of her address the hand adjusted scarf hinted at a…

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