How to Paint Pain
Canvas must be skin.
A hide pulled tight.
Gesso the canvas by allowing
a gossamer stream of saliva to fall
onto your palm. Rub into skin.
Like a balm softening the hide.
Now split yourself open.
Use a scalpel to find the fissure
where muscles and tendons open.
Stretch one across for texture.
Snap off the radius where it meets the ulna.
Dip the heart shaped end to
the pool inside your elbow.
Hold it over your head like a half note.
Wave long and short strokes onto the
canvas. Circle your abdomen
until the skin swirls open exposing
the coiled intestinal maze.
For a balance of earth tones:
Take what is left in the bowels
with both palms. Carve yourself
open to the clavicle. Break off
the smallest rib for finer detail.
Open your lungs to lacquer over the clotting.
Plunge a fingernail into your inner ear.
Now blow to heat what lingers there.
Use this encaustic to seal the layers.
Now you may sign your work
by pressing the veins
of your heart against its corner.
If you’ve created something you
could live with daily on your wall,
Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She remains active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene, often collaborating with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including Redactions, Degenerate Literature, and The Common Ground Review. She has poetry forthcoming in Black Napkin, Nowhere Poetry, and NeosAlexandria: The Dark Ones Anthology among others. In 2016, her manuscript, Lullabies for End Times, was acknowledged as one the final ten favorites in the Paper Nautilus Debut Serious Chapbook Contest.
The Ekphrastic Review
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