Monday, October 06, 2008

Face Without Features

I am painting a picture of a woman’s face
but she has no features except some sienna
in white around the mouth and eyes, moulds
of brush stroke and evaporation.

There is the face of a sainted devil, teeth and
goat beard crowning out into flame. He is spray
paint and stencil. Hard lines and plastic sheen.
He looks so leering I did him twice and then
a third time in the upper left corner just
the teeth, the clicking gates come out.

A man and woman, correction, a zombie man
and woman, 21st century American gothic wed
to the upper torso of the canvas above a line
of lurching zombies, 21st century cherubim
learned of the end of consumption, our graves,
the sole feast of our returning, cutting off
arrival with chewing, chewing out of heaven.

As I paint in the car port, my daughter comes out
and asks to help. Cover the zombie head
with oozy yellow water color, I tell her. Go
ahead. See, the plastic spray paint repels
the water. Beads of goo, en-yellowing.

She says it’s kind of scary and points
to the faceless woman. Way up at the top
is the same woman with eyes and a halo
looking down on the zombie parade. I think
it’s god, or god’s approval over all this
decline. Don’t worry, I tell her. That
woman is my mother, not yours.

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