Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Ruben Quesada Poem


              (After Jacques-Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii)

There was a time when giants ruled the earth
and women were gods, too. But here in this moment
of mortality who, woman, will hold back your heart
from the imminent cliffs of grief? You cry out instead
of speaking, and if you were allowed you’d take the oath
and follow your husband, guard him against the wretched
spell of death like a shadow of black silk unraveling,
like a permanent shadow forged onto the ground
after an atomic blast, your arms outstretched;
in the background a curtain surrenders in the wind.
Beloved woman, twisted with torment
your spinning head cries like a god out of control:
Be brief! Let the weight of your serrated edges
cut this sorrow out of me.


1 comment:

  1. You know it hangs in the Louvre. You know it measures more than 3m X 4m. It was painted in 1784. So it's a big painting whose significance you can wonder at. Is it about a flagging Empire? Upcast eyes on nothing? In the poem the woman speaks. The men are silent. Why in the hell would you be silent when you go to your death? Your best scream is the way to go out. The women, the women. What misery is always left behind. Reminds me a bit of what Israel has been doing lately to Gaza -- and believe me you really don't want to see the eyes of anyone about to come under a rocket attack. Why don't the women speak up now about this outrage? Different culture, same culture. Me for the investigation and the light. Lord. Lord.