Elisabeth Murawski

Twyckenham Notes
Issue Fourteen
Winter 2021-22

Caravaggio on the Yellow Line Train

The young Moor is all in black
except for his shirt, a subdued
indigo. Wide chiseled nose,
thick lips and intelligent
gaze, the effect of the head 
spectacular and raw 
as the later Michelangelo. 
I see my anger in his eyes, 
my self-assurance in his hands, 
large and tan, long-fingered, 
capable, resting on his thighs,
the legs thin as mine were at his age. 
I would tell him I must paint you, 
offer him my card, 
but I hesitate. What if 
he won’t believe 
it’s beauty alone I’m after?
I steal looks, take mental
notes, glance at the book
I stopped reading
when he stepped into the car. 
And now it’s his stop,
and he’s merging with the crowd
exiting at Pentagon City.
I stay put like a dog told to sit
by his master.
The train starts up 
with a jerk. I barely notice 
the dark of the underground.
I am so happy.

ELISABETH MURAWSKI is the author of Heiress, Zorba’s Daughter, which won the May Swenson Poetry Award, Moon and Mercury, and three chapbooks. Still Life with Timex won the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize and was published this year by Texas Review Press. A native of Chicago, she currently lives in Alexandria, VA.

Cover image by GJ Gillespie.
© Twyckenham Notes 2022. All rights reserved.