V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




                    Then I thought I should like to be with a woman . . .
                    —Vincent van Gogh, The Hague, 1881

At their window he saw her truest at dusk
when the violet light evened her pocked face,
or near the lit coals as he tasted her musk
between her breasts where he kissed, her worn grace
one of sorrow, shame, a woman of the streets
keeping him shunned from society, his need
for her as savior posing with head to knee,
he studied her in grays and blacks. Soon, he'd leave
for Arles, the asylum of his yellow room
repressing the lush normalcy of touch,
and paint the last of his visions, crows of doom,
yet he knew her still, wanted the warm clutch
of embrace when they lived hidden as exiles,
for a time joined as one in love's domicile.


© by Karen Carissimo


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