[Woman in White Shirt by Lucien Freud, 1956]
The boy whimpers through tiny teeth,
mewing noises from a brown body, a child’s,
a bare head with a few nicks
and short scars in the scalp,
the land behind him featureless and wet.
His little sounds bubble and drift
into the camera’s eye.
Nothing changes. He moves away.
The camera follows him.
Looking over his brown shoulder,
still whimpering, mewing,
dragging the memory of drowned parents
onto the featureless landscape
away from the camera’s eye
that swallows the specks
of light, packages of sound,
paddles them to ordered waves
to pierce through miles of air.
Split-second carriage transfigures
the specks, the packages, to pieces of light that push onto her bed
a king-sized bed, with a brown quilt.
She lies on her right side, knees slightly bent,
propped on an elbow, TV light scattering through the bedroom,
into green eyes, pieces of light pelting,
plunging down her discerning middle,
caving her in, bending her knees deeply,
moving them closer to her head, feet pointing
long and tense, arching
She cries out, flings an ancient arrow.