cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)

Paionios could not have known,
massaging his Nike into being
like a lover, like a mother giving birth.
The paint must have come off first,
golds and greens peeling away
like a hand being degloved,
Then her wings, crumbling
in an earthquake, her triumphant hand
severed as a spoil of war.
Her other arm went in pieces,
a series of small accidents
taking it away over time,
and her face was defaced by - who?
Some faceless, angry enemy of the Greeks.

In the Olympia Museum she stands
with a dozen other fallen gods,
held together by wire and glue.
She resembles a giant child's push puppet:
press up on the base of her pedestal
and she will collapse.
cedarmyna: illustrated image of a white bird on a branch at night (Default)
three portraits locked in a closet

1. n. as a department store mannequin

it looks just like her:
the same watercolor-blonde hair
the same vacant gaze
modeling green & black lingerie
under stark fluorescent light

the same rigid posture
the same jointed limbs
the same black satin ribbon round her throat
the same silence

2. sister hyde

she stands with her right hand clenched
and her left on the back of the dog
at first it looks as if she is holding back
the feral beast, her hand tangled in its fur

but the brush strokes make it hard to tell
where she ends and the fur begins
the dog could be her hand and if you can look
away from its glittering eyes and slavering jaws

there is nothing in her face but fury
she is looking right out of the painting
right at you

3. cora at an early age

she is wearing a white nightgown
the kind with an old-fashioned high collar
and long sleeves

it matches the ribbon
holding back her brown ringlets
and the blindfold
which she is peeking out from under
and laughing

this picture must have been taken
just after the accident
white was a bad choice
you can see the blood soaking through

February 2011

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