Sixty Last Suppers

by Mallory Nygard

after the image of the same name by Andy Warhol

I like to imagine a young, 
painfully shy, Warhola boy
kneeling in front of a wall 
of unhuman eyes
seeing through his overgrown 
bangs, through the crust of his chest
through the hole 
he’d one day hold together
with gauze and gauche grace. 
A pupil before the pupils: 
Be not afraid
they murmur to him. 

I sit like him
before the faces of a man who is more
than my mere humanity. 
Sixty times more. 
Over and over and over 
I keep looking over the scene.
I hang each view of the Last Supper – 
the last time Jesus sat with his friends
before he was rejected, 
denied, misunderstood, 
attacked – 
on the atrium of my heart. 

A litany of identical identity. 

By the time I reach the final frame, 
the beginning is lost
and I have to start again. 

Only then, after all, 
do I see 
that the shadows and spaces
are all the same. 
Different only in their placement, 
the time of day, and length
of gaze I give each one. 
I am the difference. 
If only I can keep my eyes open. 

Mallory Nygard lives and writes in East Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, North Dakota Quarterly, Ekstasis, Amethyst Review, Pigeon Parade Quarterly, and Ever Eden Literary Journal. Her poem “Song of Sarajevo” was named Best in Show at the 2021 Rehumanize International Create | Encounter. Her first collection of poetry, Pelican, was released in 2021.

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