The Five Good Men of Christ

The Five Good Men are waiting by the side of the lake.

There are three of us:
Bradamante, Rinaldo’s sister,
Myself, that is Alex,
and Britomartis, sweet maid of Mars.
They are sworn to silence, and I to captivity.

Thus I speak, saying:
-How now, Five Good Men, and what do you?

The Five Good Men speak, saying:
-We bear our sister home to the shores of heaven.

There is a woman laid on the ground between them, dark as a Moor.
Her hair fans out above her head like horns of fire.
Her side is sore wounded, but bleeds no more.

Thus I speak, saying:
-Who is she that lies there dead?

The Five Good Men speak, saying:
-That is our sister Christ.

My captors, pious killers, cross themselves.

The Five Good Men take up their sister Christ.
Their feet dimple the uneasy surface of the water.
In the distance, in the fog, is the tolling of bells.
Bradamante and Britomartis take my arms and turn away.

For hours we are haunted by the tolling of the bells.