the quarry the marble the sweat
the chisel the belly the feather
Nike’s wings livened in the cold stone and her breasts thrust forward and her right hand cupped her lips and her cry swelled triumph over Samothrace and her shadow cheered the gods
the pilgrims the winds the battles
the cracks the falls the dirt the shards
the shovels the waves the Louvre
Up Yves Klein floated, up quite neatly from the beach, up through the azure haze, up above his Nice, where he, prince of the void, signed the sunlit far side of the sky, only begrudging the soaring gulls the holes they punched in his masterpiece
the pigment the resin the foil
the gold the rose the flame
the ashes the sponge the bruise
the Giottos the gut the katas the saints
the leaps the pills the rocket the heart --
Greatest painter in the world, Monsieur Le Monochrome, it is he who stuck me on this spike! That crétin, with his babble of infinity and space, with his naked swaying models, his “living brushes” – oh, vive la liberté for them! – he left me here, headless, armless, footless, crusted in his eyeball-sucking color while my steadfast mother, so far away, longs ever for her severed limbs, shedding her sacred dust into gawping mouths. He would have spiked her if he could!
the bits the screens the power
Doesn’t this beat watching SpongeBob, girls? Ooh, look at that little purple angel! Isn’t she exquisite?
She’s blue, Mom. And she’s not an angel. See? She’s Victory. On a stick. Which makes no sense. Or, wait, it does. It makes the same sense as me saving for Coachella and you not letting me go.
You never give up, do you, Pol? Someday I’ll be dead and then you can go wherever you want. For now, you’ll just have to suffer. Oh, my God, Thalia! Don’t touch!
But Mama the angel wants me to pick her up.
Ma’am! Keep the child behind the rope.
She doesn’t want you to pick her up, honey, she’s plastic.
Plastique! Voilá le sublime. Gods, I want off this…this stick!
Mama, you need to look with your listening ears!
Ha, right on, Thals. I bet I can print her for you.
You can? With her head on? And arms? And feet? And rainbow fingernails?
Oh là là, to have fingers! And rainbows! Je t’en prie.
the viewers the love
Elizabeth Kuelbs writes and mothers at the edge of a Los Angeles canyon. She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can find more of her work in The Timberline Review, Minerva Rising, Every Day Fiction, Cricket, Poets Reading the News, and elsewhere.
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