The Last Supper, by Andrew Merton
The Last Supper
for Carlos Seminario Solaligue
Painted by the Quechua artist Marcos Zapata
in the waning years of the Inquisition,
it hangs in a cathedral in the Andes,
built on the foundation of a sacred Inca site
eleven thousand feet closer to Heaven
than the Milan convent
housing da Vinci’s rendering
of the same uneasy repast.
Zapata’s Jesus looks preoccupied
as he hefts a loaf of bread,
considering its worth.
On the table goblets of wine
surround an ornate golden salver
on which lies a delicacy
unknown in the Holy Land,
a roasted guinea pig
flat on its back
feet in the air.
One of the apostles
has turned away from Jesus.
Adorned in a sumptuous red robe,
Zapata’s Judas stares directly at the viewer
and it comes as no surprise
that he bears a resemblance
to Juan Pizarro y Alonso
Andrew Merton’s poetry has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Rialto, Comstock Review, Asheville Poetry Review, The American Journal of Nursing, and elsewhere. He is the author of three books of poetry, all published by Accents Publishing (Lexington, KY): Evidence that We Are Descended from Chairs (2012), Lost and Found (2016), and Final Exam (2019). He is a professor emeritus of English at the University of New Hampshire.
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