Today's poem is by Stefi Weisburd

The Bull
    Picasso's lithograph series, 1945-1946

In the beginning, he enjoyed volume
and meat, his hide twitched
with texture, bulked up on shadows
and light. Head down, rutting,
tail flipped forward for flies
or lust, cocky in his thickset
hooves. Six days later, his skin
is less generous. It spans
cartilage like bat wings.
The nostrils flare, but the eye
already knows what's lost.
By December, the tail hangs,
an impotent whip. The face
abdicates, the testicles dangle, rot.
The body is butchered
by triangles and arcs. This line
stands for stomach, that,
a proxy for shoulders.
The eye comes and goes.
In early January, the legs confuse
themselves. The penis is straw.
Geometry continues its land grab
for rump and guts. In the end,
contour relinquishes
the interior; haunches, belly, gorge,
all confessed and obliterated.
Like the beasts at Lascaux,
the brute is tamed
by paint & palm-sized line,brawn
stewed down to the sinew
of symbol until what's left
is a name that passes through lips
& barely stirs the air.

Copyright © 2009 Stefi Weisburd All rights reserved
from The Wind-Up Gods
Black Lawrence Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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