For Van Gogh

Sunrise. Sunflower. Unblinking eye.
(She scrubs the toilet with splashes of pine sol. She dips the scrubber into the polished water to drench the bathroom tile. Lunch is take-out. Dinner is homemade pea soup and leftover apple pie. She pulls her shirt off in front of the mirror and jiggles her breasts. They feel like water balloons. He comes over and they watch a movie together before having wrestling sex. She opens the door for him, and closes it for him, and twists the door chains together. She touches the steel pot to make sure it’s cooled. She lets out her shirt in the bathroom. They still feel like water balloons. She sprays Windex on a paper towel and cleans the mirrors. She uses the used towel to wipe the dust off the trash lid and weight scale. She’s still not sleepy so she watches a 38-minute documentary on the life of a real-life genius. She’s still hungry so she heats up one-third of the leftover pie for half a minute. She washes it down with low-fat milk. She pours 2/3 of a cup of cat food into the cat dish. She faces the sunflower toward the wall.)
Blink slowly. Copycat. Turn out lights. Turn out.


She said – perversely – that she would not love me, not in this world nor the next. That she cannot accommodate loose teeth or a bum knee.

True – my teeth will fall and my good knee will soon give way like the other, but these and this won’t matter in the next world belonging to eternity.

I tell her – this world belongs to corruption and my ailing parts provide testimony. Death is part of the natural rhythm of things. If you take my hand now, we will enter incorruption together.

She is not convinced.

She has chosen that strong, hard body over there, for its pleasures. She will leave it before it shifts shape in the mirror. She will keep it until she gets her full.

I bag my bones and rattle them in her hearing. I paint a picture and then another. I save my everlasting picture for the blind. They are always hungry.


For this I apologize –
With my vital thumb
I smear away
Your sloping eye and forehead lines –
Accidental features
And leave alone the length
Of your pointer finger

For you my one request –
Press out of existence
My excess flesh
And leave behind
As redress
The essence
Of my figure

And don’t forget –

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