Over fifty, in a Roman hostel, The Simpsons Bringing us all together, my wife, my daughters, The nine other residents, none past twenty-three We learn as we go around the room announcing Country of origin and age, the Vatican only Two blocks away, Homer speaking about sin Inside his church, the girl who has just showered Smelling like gardenias, in her robe, laughing, Showing some Danish leg to the boy from Brazil Whose English isn’t good enough to keep up with her In that way, we had walked through the rain And our hair is wet like hers, early December, Homer looking in Marge’s beehive hair for something, My daughters so young they can’t know What I smell, what I remember, the wanderlust, To loose on earth what is loosed in heaven, The girl’s robe tied poorly by her hands as she rises And mentions the Sistine Chapel, tomorrow, anyone? I recall Bartholomew’s flayed skin hanging from his own hand.

KEVIN BOYLE’s book, A Home for Wayward Girls, won the New Issues Poetry contest and was published in 2005. His poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly, Colorado Review, Cottonwood, Denver Quarterly, Greensboro Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, North American Review, Northwest Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East and Virginia Quarterly Review. The Lullaby of History won the Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Chapbook Prize and was published in 2002. Originally from Philadelphia, Kevin now lives in North Carolina and teaches at Elon University.