You Ask Me If You Could Paint Me
here comes another, this one with a brush
instead of a book, or rope, or whip
Dilruba Ahmed, “The Other Side (on Gauguin)”
If you will paint me, paint with the good book.
Its leather smelling of tanneries and smeared
crimson makes a lifelike print. The sermon on
the mount may tattoo in blue the blessed head.
Paint also with a rope, rub it across the hands
that all may see my long self-restraint and guess
my release. Then nail the hemp to the canvas,
top right corner, to outface me with its reality.
With your brush, whip my torso into flesh. The
violence without must be met by violence within.
Strike! Harder! Let my body writhe, a commotion
contained in the cool and hard figure of a pear.