When angry men made rough rocks beautiful
in Florence or some place where they found work,
they didn’t instruct pupils like a petty clerk
nor inspect hack-hewn stones with a plumb rule.
The teachers sought in future’s Istanbul
Byzantium built into the marble’s quirk,
and molded to the forms of Greeks and Turks
the breathing figure sat on bed or stool.
I refuse to spend my best and brightest hour
correcting this boy’s grammar, that girl’s heart,
coruscating like plastic when they shine.
If I’m the model, then let them devour
my passion for highlighting into art
this girl’s clothed breasts, that boy’s vigorous line.
* this sonnet begins with the last line in a Paul Goodman sonnet.