Academic journal article Field

Tableaux Vivants

Academic journal article Field

Tableaux Vivants

Article excerpt

1. The Living Room

"Charlotte Corday," Paul Jacques Aimé Baudre, 1860

Mannequin-still, his body

stretches the sofa's narrow length.

A dying man. A bathtub.

Its water twilled rust-red.

Scrap of green throw blanketing

his feet. Her feet won't work.

She should help or leave or-

Backlit, the door's shadow is

a knife-hilt blackening

his chest. His papers, rivered

milk, spill. The map on the wall

is mere ornament, out of date:

nothing is where it used to be.

All drift and float.

Where there used to be land, only water.

Where there used to be water, no escape.

2. The Backyard

"Lao co ön and His Sons," 25 bc

Her children and their father rake

the grass smooth. A matched

set, the children bracket him.

Witness the fury of the disinterred:

ground bees knot burred ropes

about their feet and cord their legs.

Children carry within their parents'

sins, diseased. Pain plaits each face. …

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