Saint Matthew’s Rectus Femoris by Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis After the men had condemned Caravaggio’s picture of Saint Matthew with the poofy-haired angel I wish I could have been there to smoothen the creases beneath the eyes to tell Caravaggio to not despair to have confidence in his wares that for all intense purposes he had gotten it right drawing the extensor digitorum, rectus femoris, and gastrocnemius at just the right plush and brawn composing the toe like a fleshy dart showing off the pulsing underside of the foot. For Matthew’s physique needed the tightness it did to do the kind of lift and pull and trekking required of the gods. And about that dangling angel— I wish I could have told him too that Saint Matthews needed the warmth of the body (the soft and full of zesty closeness that chances once in a millennium) like an endless flow of robe made of galactic lights and gold the vibrations required— before the hunching over and tearing of tendon from muscle and breaking of bone on bone that comes when the Work Commences.
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Nathalie Kuroiwa-Lewis is a Professor of English at Saint Martin’s University, a private, Benedictine liberal arts university located in the Pacific Northwest. She is also a board member of the Olympia Poetry Network. She is published in periodicals such as The Madrona Project, The Wild Word, and The Tiger Moth Review, among others. Nathalie currently lives in Olympia, Washington.