Darwin and Da Vinci – Joan Mazza
Somewhere in the multiverse, somewhere
past a black hole, I turn right at a silver
asteroid and coast into the strings of a cosmic
suburbia to find a house that looks like mine.
I serve dinner to Charles and Leonardo
who laugh when they see each other—
looking-glass faces and beards, mirror minds
bubbling with curiosity. This space-time
pocket of dreams and inventions is a reverse
Tower of Babel. We speak our native languages
in idiom and references of our time, fully
understand without translation. I make pasta
primavera because even in this small corner
of the vast cosmos, Leonardo is vegetarian
and Charles is still skittish about his digestion.
I set up a slide show of fossils on mountains
and let them take it from there. When we move
to the living room for tea, they discover bound
editions of their notebooks and drawings
on the coffee table amid tomes on their art
and science. Both left-handed, they delight
in mutual quirks and interests, surprised to meet
five centuries after Leonardo’s death. I tell them a bit
about the Mars rover, Voyager, Watson and Crick,
but mostly I’m quiet to listen to them talk
about their drawings. Oh, yes, I tell them.
People fly in planes and helicopters.
The evidence of evolution makes it fact.
In the bathroom, the two men take turns
flushing to watch the tank empty and fill.
Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and has taught workshops nationally with a focus on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her work has appeared in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes a poem every day and is working on a memoir. www.JoanMazza.com