It seems impossible to know which came first.
The darks are as dark as usual.
Christ's skin glows like the inside of a goblet.
The window behind me is open and people keep interrupting its light.
It's a Caravaggio but not nearly as weird.
All the men's feet seem proportional.
Their soles are too clean.
A fake is not a fake until someone notices.
The guard beating Christ seems incompetent, his back is not really into it.
Like the middle-aged man who bagged my groceries this morning in Krogers.
I've just been released from prison, he told me.
Beside the original muddle, another muddle.
It seems our Italian hero painted this scene not once but at least twice.
Two images of Christ and the men killing him.
We're supposed to see the differences even when there aren't any of significance.
I suppose disbelief requires too many scientific techniques.
But imagine the faces from the original version.
There's not enough blood, said the woman standing next to me.
Imagination isn't sufficient.
Or perhaps they're just getting started.
Sarah is the author of River Electric with Light, which won the AROHO Poetry Publication Prize and was published by Red Hen Press in 2015, and Bathsheba Transatlantic, which won the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and was published by Anhinga Press in 2010. When not shuttling between her three geographic loves--Rome, Tel Aviv, and New York City--she teaches creative writing at The American University of Rome. She holds an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a MBA from Berkeley. More importantly for her poetry, she completed a MFA in Creative Writing at Bennington College in January 2009. You can see some more of her work at www.sarahwetzel.com.