richard butler, 2014, oil on linen
blurs as catatonia. waxy white skin
smeared across the face, the light hits her in cycles like a moon.
one eye untouched as the birds
fall around her like snow.
the hands unseen, but imagine them open
as if they wait for a prayer and a dove cradles there.
if you stop the dead things in motion,
they look like moths
and her face
just a soap scum moon, waning over no earth.
This poem is an ekphrastic of a woman in a portrait series by Richard Butler. I imagined if this painting were animated, it would be in slow motion, where place & self are blending, falling, disintegrating. I just felt this overpowering lethargy and surrender as I looked at the white streaks across the woman's face, one eye just looking downwards.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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