Everything must go in – fragments
of stained glass, ancient cornice and pedestal,
odd classical feet (human/animal), odd flowers
from the sea now solid as rock, great works
of the Italian masters in gilded frames –
their names like pasta sauces, their ten-a-penny idylls.
And sling in too the grimacing gargoyles
for easy contrast, hacked from facades
of windy cathedrals, a lank lock of hair
from a saint and a sinner (they are one
and the same), a missing pistol – its ricochet
bullet somewhere in these rooms. Everything,
everything. Now recite the list of what you
saved. Now the one thing you missed:
its gleaming plinth, its jealous empty space.