Leonardo’s inventory he took with him to Florence
shames me into seeing my poverty, how little I have
to show of this journey. The Arno River flows past,
and empty hands hold me accountable. There is no
balance to the scale. Not even with the sad joy it is
to see these things we both can list: Flowers drawn
from nature. Drawings of furnaces. Measurements
of a figure. Machines for ships and for waterworks.
A head of Christ made with the pen. Compositions
of angels. Bodies seen in perspective. Nude figures,
complete. A Madonna, finished, and another almost
finished, in profile. A head of Our Lady ascending
into heaven, of a gypsy, of a girl with knotted braids.
Many designs for knots. The Passion, made in relief.
Richard Harris was runner-up in The Writers’ Workshop International Poetry Contest, has poems in Figs & Thistles, and has poems forthcoming in Iodine. He enjoys drawing and painting for pleasure and teaches in North Carolina at Charlotte Latin School, which sent him on Spoleto Study Abroad’s Journey Through Central Italy.