A well-planned trip abroad, the doctor thinks.
His map unfolds; he praises his wise self
for giving three whole days to visit Rome.
They reach the church where mute monks live and die.
The walls each hold a treasure chest of bones
like sacred shells. These strange embedded gifts
don’t faze the brown-robed man who holds his thin
grey hand to take the small admission fee.
With pride the doctor rattles off the names
of bones: a rib, a skull, a clavicle,
teeth, patella, femurs, a coccyx here.
His lover drums her fingers on a rail.
Her eyes dart to the clouds beyond the door.