GALILEO’S FINGER


In truth, had he not been so tight
with Urban, things could have been
so very much worse, but the scientist
would not declare hypothetical
what he knew to be the truth:
E pur si muove” and appearances
must be maintained as far as Scripture,
Copernicus, and Aristotle went;
a not entirely uncomfortable life
under house arrest, and in Florence,
in the Museo Galileo, preserved,
not without irony, in a glass reliquary
like a piece of saint, his middle finger,
upright in skeletal digit impudicus,
Tie! Vaffanculo!” Flipping
the Church off down the centuries.

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