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David Wright

Two Suppers at Emmaus by Caravaggio

The worm in the apple gnaws the fruit away,
and the dressed fowl the men have devoured

by the time Caravaggio remembers the inn-keeper
and his creased wife, the finer linens

and the pitcher as detailed as the Gospel of Luke,
and the ridiculously large ears of Cleopas.

What fierce blaze gets fired and glazed
within the tender-hearted as a stranger paints

the air with his midrash of pigment and time?
What light layers enough shadow over years?

I am inventing this last part; the rest you could have
read or been shown on your own:

Caravaggio once punched a drunk in the head
and saw Jesus as the man's flesh dented

beneath his fist like a warm loaf. For five years,
the stranger rose again and again in Caravaggio's eye.

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