“Senecio” by Paul Klee, 1922
You, penile breasted.
You, who sit like a judge,
your whirligig head, your wooden plaits
flat on your brow.
You, who prop one breast up.
The child in your lap stops a moment
from sucking and accuses me too.
Red scrapes through the brown
paint as if to give life to those sketchy places
where your god thought life was supposed to be.
Flushed cheeks, thighs, breasts–all glow with it,
and you are caught in a moment of suckling,
aiming your nipple straight at me, cupping
the other hand under your toothpick child. You wait
for earrings and dust, have places for both
as you angle yourself to a stool. Fat toes, one
chipped from your careless life, you sit flat, and in state,
regal as Hitler, baiting me. So
I guess you were right–I was trying to say something.
The knob on your belly seems a clit,
a pushbutton womb with no hint of blood. Stool of
teeth bites your bare buttocks and I let it happen.
Bony-broad shoulders hover above your child. Your child,
enigma, boy or boy-girl, plaited as you are,
skull like a medication, a capsule to take
her somewhere else. The Eucharist disk of your
head does not forgive.