Summer 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1994 |

Laughter

They resolved to invite to Florence the best craftsmen in Italy to make in competition, as a trial specimen of their work, a scene in bronze. . . . For the subject, they chose Abraham sacrificing Isaac, considering that this would test the competitors in all the problems of their craft. . . . VASARI, Lives (1568 ed.), tr. Bull 1 Anyone can model men from mud. Make them better! Cast in bronze relief to make us gasp and cast out disbelief-- in what? Is it incredible, a God demanding child abuse? infanticide? suffusing his concoction--flesh--with love so faulty it flees at the drop of a knife, its bronze clattering down the mountainside? Well, can you do it? Entries must include one ass, one fat ram anxious to dissolve into a thicket, two slaves goofing off, and popping like a rocket from a cloud one punctual angel with a timeless shout, zeroing on that bright glint at the throat. 2 Maybe any birth's miraculous but if your husband wined and dined a stranger billing

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