Zero Instephanie pope

up against a thin wall, the skin split
a skin hard in shell & worn subterranean
a pressed skin too terribly hard, a tight dress

in dressed-down flesh, remote &
recessed, a peri-flesh in paradise

once a home till wings were clipped
once a world, unbottled, bared

she still lives the place, broad-breasted
& in her being     (in really being nowhere)
as if sex, like flesh, undressed
as if sex, like paint, were flesh
the first of the first lived
like the best in us, the worst and slid

the deep fissure in a way of being
out of chaos slid
first came the chasm & then beauty
broad-breasted, ourea snowy
something dark and remote in recess
a great release, living force & passion
wet & willed to no purpose wingéd flew
& eros too, dissolver of flesh, withdrew

zero in eros
disturb beyond reason
something living cupped like wetted silver

living underneath
out of reach and rhyme, something
a little out of time
in composition, sex
so sublime the shapeless killing in it
kills with love; what kills
splitting arms and legs a-part
a deep fissure, a way of being, submerged

Coubet, Woman In White Stockings, 1861
Woman In White Stockings-Gustave Courbet
Rubel, pearl oyster

how it loosens! & oh, how,
when nothing sees something & wonders
in draperies gilded red with eyes, the treasure
lives low the vowel in genos & the gene
brings to order its own order
a chaos genet, a living softness
in dressed up flesh
down inside;
the best in us, the worst
painfully aware of the illness that we are

the roundness of it

worn like a shell

Pearl Oyster, 1904 Mikhail Vrubel
Pastel, gouache, charcoal on cardboard
The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.


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