Caravaggio/ poem by Janet Hamill

I’m in a small Mexican town outside Oaxaca/the sun is crawling like an
Orange serpent through the window
a white sail disappears over the jungle
I walk through the rooms in a green
satin slip/amulets on either shoulder strap/bleeding hearts of Mary/Magdalene laces in black are wrapped around my ankles Caravaggio dreams in the bedroom 

heat siesta/wandering the waterfronts of all the ports/in all the cities
of the world/his skin is flushed
with a mild fever/and blue gulf stream fly fish lie across his thighs/the walls perspire like the exhausted flesh 

of a youthful Bacchus/damp indulgent sheets a parrot screams behind my back
the scarlet blood drops leave a trail
down my leg/the laces tighten 

and I feel so sore/inside/a raving barracuda took a bite of something tender 


Janet Hamill is the author of eight collections of poetry and short fiction.  Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Prize.  Her collection of short fiction, Tales from the Eternal Café, was named one of the “Best Books of 2014” by Publishers Weekly.  Hamill has an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from New England College, Henniker, NH.  Originally from NJ, she resided in NYC for thirty years before settling in the Hudson Valley. 

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