Three Poems by Michael Poage

The Colosseum, Rome

If you have never been to Rome,
Italy, and many have not,
just to warn you it is a city
of details. Every place you look,
every corner you turn, there will be
the drama of a huge recycled
building or monument or maybe
both and the same. Leaving Rome,
on the train to Florence, the
pain wants to eat its own bone,
a self-gladiating wish for freedom.

Mass, San Carlo Church, Florence

Because I was listening
to the longest homily in the
liturgical history of
Catholicism and was tired
from walking for days around
a beautifully overwhelming city
of art, religion and politics,
it was an act of keeping
myself awake to
notice on the wall
behind the communion
table a large
painting of the dead
Jesus being prepared
for burial by eight
or ten people, mostly
women, all but one
covered. Jesus is naked
with no male genitals
where they should be
and more than the beginnings
of breasts where they should be.
I wonder if the model
for Jesus was really female or is there
perhaps another explanation?


I can’t get
to where
I am.
This is us.
“Go with the
flaw” is a
clothing ad
in Rome.
I couldn’t
say it better.


by Michael Poage


Michael Poage

Michael Poage was born in Virginia. He has published ten books of poetry, most recently, Human Ink, Blue Cedar Press, 2017. He has just received an appointment as the Poet-in-Residence at Dzemal Bijedic University in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. He teaches English to international students at Wichita State University.



Appears In

Issue 2

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