Astringency alludes to thirst;
In blank walls, parched and pursed,
Rises a longing for gilt lost and accursed —
A restlessness molten under the minimal.
Asperities of the eye provoke
A hidden friction, fire without smoke;
Flat planks, arid and matte, stoke
An aberrant heat, crouching and animal,
As flanks sweat where once the fever broke.
The frieze will melt whose cold laminal
Folds, reduplicated and reversed,
Animate a warmth in scrolls that swell, seams that burst;
Buttresses fly; buttocks conical and chiral
Pile athwart arcs like soaked
Carcasses in stone throats that choke
Where veins sluice and tesserae spiral.
Austerity flung onto the pyre will
Rise engorged, elaborated at a stroke
Into a basilica livid and viral:
Cavernous, carnivorous, baroque.