Lucian Freud: The Mirror, The Curtain

  March 13th, 2007

lucian freud - 'reflection'

My tendons, sinews, wrinkles pop out in this light:

Articulated, discrete like the slats, dials, vents
of some chassis.

The hollow of my throat a vulva,
or the gutted cavity
of an upsidedown deercorpse.

My collarbone like ladle, stuck in mid-serve.

My forehead & scalp like a gleaming bronze bat
slapped against my skull.

Hair like long shrews plotting. Or tearing at flesh,
with the draining blood mottling down my brow.

I imagine them at night:
they clamber up & down my clay,
plot in my crags & creases,
leave lizard eggs in the folds of my ears as rent.

It’s time to go to bed. The more I watch myself, the more I don’t understand my biology, in the way a word repeated too much begins to sound alien. Already I don’t understand my shoulder, how its meat can hang on and mix with my bones, armpit, trapezius. So dissociated have I become that I picture, unflinching, what it would be like to pare back the skin, examine the fibers & ligaments.

My wife under the covers, does she ever see her body like this? Maybe not, but I think she does. Both of us watching our aging old-milk bodies curd and separate.

Do we have any yogurt-covered raisins left? Let me look. I could stick one in each ear, those are the lizard eggs. And I’ll paint little evil-red eyes up there for conniving shrew eyes. She’ll laugh in mild disgust when I eat the raisins, and chide me for my little vision later when I tell her what I was imagining. I’ll probably laugh too.

Then I’ll sleep and dream about what I always do nowadays: a white gauze curtain, so thin it’s like mist, flapping and twisting behind me, coy sharp dancing, water-splash-seductive, just barely in my periphery, lost in a shoal-dart as soon as I make the smallest move to watch.

[posted by C Way at 1:08 AM]


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