Giotto Blue

Kenny Tanemura
| poetry

The faces in Giotto’s Massacre of the Innocents
in Scrovengi Chapel, must have been what
the faces of mothers in Sarajevo looked like
after a massacre during the Siege. They reached
out when there was nothing to grasp,
yet all the blue stayed in the sky so pretty
it could have brought tears to the eyes.

In Giotto’s fresco, the fallen ones change
into a different hue, brown-gray, pale
against the white of the buildings, the violet
of a shirt here, the pink of a coat there—
all the pleats and postures of the living.

The women were free only to grieve
seconds after the massacre happened.
And later, the stars must have come out
as if on the ceiling of a chapel lost
in the Giotto blue partly cracked from
the nearby bombing of another war.

Kenny Tanemura has an MFA from Purdue University and his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Best New Poets 2013 and others. He is working on a book about Japan.

Yellow Door in Open Field