Bangladeshi Vision

Woman in White Shirt, Lucien Freud 1956-7

[Woman in White Shirt by Lucien Freud, 1956]

Bangladeshi Vision


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.


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