If I Was Delacroix, I’d Be a Dickhead

By | 1 January 1998

After the murder of her children,
there was a devastation in her eyes
that brought to mind The Garden of Delights.
The way she looked over her shoulder
across a pre-Raphaelite form,
wading from deep water to the beach
as if she understood the war being waged against her
by the world
urging it on like a wounded animal
throwing a smell across the centuries to now
through hamlets, hammocks, palaces and streets,
the one cruel smell
of forests burning in the memory
of her loins,
her one cruel copper smell
of woman.
And I detect
from the adoring way Delacroix painted her
amidst riotous nudes saddled
on zebra, leopards and boar
reasons why I once had found her flawless,
and something of the reason
why I left.

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