What He Saw, Again

Norman Dubie

—after three paintings by M.M.

The giraffes and hairy German widows
crying in the western district
of the city...exaggerated moon
and the world aching on its hinges—

sepia republic handbills
slapped by wind against the limestone blocks
of the dark public urinal—

a woman in a gray loincloth
with tertiary nipples dancing on the wine table:

caesar is not, is not     and then
the religions washing their hands
after slaughter...

now, the naked roman apparitions
slowly bearing grapes into the cold room.