Poem: I Don't Want Raphael's Angel
More Earthy, Less Ethereal
Angels are created in heaven but rendered by the minds of artists and poets. My version of an angel reflects my Philly background and gritty nature. I prefer my angels earthy with more realistic expectations, instead of the ideal versions that Raphael and Michelangelo have created in their art. I want my angel accessible instead of ethereal. In the poem, I Don't Want Raphael's Angel, I say goodbye to perfection and hello to flaws and impurity.
I Don't Want Raphael's Angel by Mark Tulin
I don’t want my angel
soft and demure
with translucent wings or a halo.
I don’t want her riding bareback like Lady Godiva
or as sophisticated as Lady Chatterley.
I want her to be excited to see me
with outstretched arms and a bottle of beer,
plain and dowdy, unfettered and free
with rollers in her untamed hair.
I want her to be funny and profane,
a well-endowed, zaftig angel
wearing nothing but a grin
and a closeout pair of fur-lined slippers
from Marshalls or Filene’s Basement.
I want my angel to be riding
a two-door Ford Pinto
with a pack of smokes on the dash,
a pipe with hash under the seat,
barely making it up the hill
in a cough and sputter.
I don’t want Raphael’s angel
or a Michelangelo
with a surreal, sublime pallor.
I don’t want society’s perfect seraphim,
a holy protector and intercessor,
but a cherub who’s not afraid to break rules,
now and then.