Day 18: Padova

Inside high arches and vast domes. Gilded stars catch your attention, the white dove in a crown of rays. Pictures, letters and buttons cover the tomb. Faces, stories and prayers. Gawkers, scoffers and believers shuffle by; it feels like a buffet line of marble. Renaissance reliefs offering a price I'm not sure I could pay.

On the back of the tomb, there's a dark marble slab. It's the only place you can touch it, placing your palm flat and then your forehead flat against your hand and then closing your eyes to pray the world away. Or asking a new one to come.

I saw one older lady doing this. Her piety quiet but powerful in the throngs of shufflers around her. There was a palpable urgency to her request, whatever it was. And I imagined that when she pulled her hand away there was an imprint left behind. I wanted to put my hand in hers. 

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