Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I wept under water, salt seeking salt,
for her beauty had fallen on me like a sword
Derek Walcott

A man stands on the island
watching storm waves charge
the pier --- white flounces
of a woman's gown whirling

beneath a sky gray
as the stone of the Bastille.
He has seen this same frenzy
shaping old paintings
by Spanish or French artists.
he passionately adores.

Often, a peasant girl
or goddess leads the mob,
her dress ripped, her features
luminous with rage. All brushstrokes
become a hurricane force
of breath that pushes beyond
the canvass into the observer's skin.

Last month, he watched his wife
turn the wall into a tableau
as she gripped the shutters,
her knuckles blanched, her hands
desperate to rip off
the window's ribs and puncture
clouds blown full with air, maybe
the cicada's pitch too,
that sounded like her own song
of insanity.

Though riven with voices
she wanted her original
soul back, untouched
so she could write music
and share a margarita
with the piano, rise
from a tomb while the pills
stayed piled in their plastic
bottles gathering attention
from her husband and the lamplight.

Dazed, he stood gleaming
as he does now
in his dress shirt and gray pants,
a titanium brace
that could only hold her so long,
offer loving support

until she decided to fall away
flailing her arms
before the moon, an attempt
to prune its pull
on the ocean and her own
unbalanced state of gravity.

Note -- The painting is called, "Alone" by 19th Century illustrator, Edmund Du Lac.

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