Poetry | September 28, 2020

Like the Middle Ages

Hell is being stuck in perpetua next door to genius.

Like the Middle Ages, whose art and people feel like


first drafts of Renaissance greatness. To be close—but—

a hair shy. To be gone before the Internet, or a drug


that could have saved your life had you made it through

one more night. Like two ships. The twenty-first century feels like neither


the right nor wrong place at neither the right nor wrong time.

You feel me? Cimabue got it right, his Madonna just sitting there


as the baby paws her face. It was a dark age, wasn’t it?

And anyway, she could be imagining how hot it was


the day a regular guy walked on water, the sun

scorching the crowd gathered to lick it all up.


They felt the world break open, to be sure, but

misremembered who first spoke the word m-i-r-a-c-l-e.


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