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To My Fellow Artist
You scream and bash your head against the imported marble floor, from...somewhere -
Africa? Once it was washed red with Zimbabwean blood
but now it shines and sometimes you check your reflection in it; not today.
"Nothing," you scream, "empty".
You are detoxified and polished with upper-class Clorox.
"I’ve been anesthetized" you choke but
you are wrong; you sense this:
your struggle is that you are wealthy and
you are straight and
both of your parents went to Ivy-league schools and
you are white, so
you can never lay claim to the nobility of suffering; of defiant success. But
you open your eyes and notice how arrestingly cold the floor is
how barren and desolate the desert looms
how awesome echo the cerebral screams of men dying in endless war. So.
You pick and choose (you learned young to be a connoisseur) and
dirty your white canvass with
the guilt coalescing deep beneath her hooded eyes,
the tattered edges of her fingernails
just visible beneath chipped paint (A Pop of Cherry Red), and
you fill in black for the parts of her rendered invisible by averted eyes.
Now you shove your soggy canvass in my face because
"there is darkness out there beyond the whitewashed pale" and
"I want you to feel what she has been through!"
You form a blunt club of the acid sluicing through her arteries,
with which you bash me repeatedly on the head.
You say "if there is pain, let us share it," but
all we share is a dull thudding within my skull. And then
you ask me for fifty K because