An angel critiques Caravaggio’s Saint Matthew and the Angel

April 6, 2021

The Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome

As rich as it is   his painting’s
misconceived
depicting what humanity’s not able
to perceive  
                    Overlook
the anachronisms   of
latter-day bench & table  
& replacing Matthew’s parchment
with a book
                    Ignore
the appealing bedsheet draping the angel  
who seems perplexingly suspended  
from a ceiling hook   & even the twisted angle
at which the writer must look
                    The inspiration that was given
isn’t something he’d heard   as if recited to him  
word for word   but what the altar piece alters  
what troubles me most   is would Heaven
merely send an angel
to do the work of the Holy Ghost?