Edinburg: Gauguin’s Vision of the Sermon
Draw closed the red curtain.
With shut eyes who’s to say you’re not
beatific. A flutter of little feathers
round the squint.
Monsieur saw our palm to palm faith
felt his own lack gnaw so fed it oils
gave us sumo in a red ring—
pure vermilion he used— to quicken
attention weak for its rapture. Within
wrestlers waver in the clinch— archangel
rooted, gripping opponent at the brink
of topple, though outspread wings hinder
the headlock. A tree tethers one arc
of arena, its green sky tints our skin
and bonnets curved like vertebrae
for green’s opposition makes red fervent
as ache does pleasure. The binary push-pull,
the dogged struggle for upperhand.
Susan Buis studied visual art in Saskatoon and creative writing in Long Beach, California. She lives in the hills outside Kamloops BC, where she walks every day. Her writing has appeared in literary journals including Prairie Fire, Event, The Fiddlehead, and The Malahat Review. She teaches English at Thompson Rivers University and is a member/researcher of TRU’s Walking Lab.
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