Digging Up Dali
Hair dripping from the Tampa weather we plunged
ourselves through to reach the museum, we stood before paintings
so frighteningly large and bright our breath was a rainstorm.
You asked me where I thought Dali began “The Ecumenical Council,”
and I told you it must have been where the self-portrait in the corner
launched his first brushstroke. The octopus was already placed
before my headphones weren’t working, before you offered yours,
nestling them gently around my neck. But I didn’t want to hear the audio tour,
I wanted to feel the skeleton brides on bikes with rocks on their heads,
riding and riding into the abyss.
I wanted to feel around you, too,
to tell you we’d already started a work of art. Everyone, I wanted to say,
has a binge every now and then. Even Dali, with his barely touched
plate of wavy shrimp, his paltry sexual desires.
What would he paint, now, of his exhumation, his possible
tarot-card-reading daughter? Would he ask for her deck, or hide her face
into each melting face or breast? Would his skeletal resurrection
have a mustache, a paintbrush? To be Dali’s daughter, is to eat
from the tidal pools and cliffs of Port Lligat.
And to be near you, is to always find buried things,
cutting through layers of humus and topsoil to curiosity, enlightenment.
To uncover is to find one’s life pulse, the inside of a tooth, perhaps a hair tissue.
To breathe, from the newspaper’s hand-painted faces, to find a daughter
in “Manhattan Skyline, Tarot the Moon.” What would he paint, of a human’s
unfurled DNA, that could curl around and around the moon?
L.E. Goldstein is a native of Florida. She holds an MA from the University of Southern Mississippi and an MFA from Boston University. She is currently studying and working at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her poetry chapbook, The State of the Ship, was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2016.
The Ekphrastic Review
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