Jeffrey Thomson, author of the forthcoming Museum of Objects Burned by the Souls in Purgatory, is a memoirist, translator, and editor. He lives in Maine.
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Lorenzo was mortar for the church
he built, gathering wild birds
for the rafters and fruited trees
for their food. He carted stone
and hoisted, he pestled, he block-
by Valerian and about to be
arrested, Lorenzo goat-herded
the church’s wealth, distributed it
to the poor. He paid the unmade
orphans, clothed the lepers
in money. He sold the sacred
vessels, the varied trestles.