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Our Lady of the Pomegranate

Our Lady of the Pomegranate, Sandro Botticelli, ca. 1487


All the chiaroscuro painted out and then scratched away

till we see nothing but dusk of rivulets and elms,

rock grotto detritus of Leonardo's skies,

a blush ripe fruit in her delicate hands:

bulbous, bloodied with seed, where a child

kicks and squirms to see the sun, still a fish

of breech and water, eager to out-pronounce

the land of the dead alive, of corpulence,

of ponds full of croaking peepers

tangled in a nest of gill, fur, tail

fury fire foment against

the stilted portrait in oil

of the Venus Middendorf, haggard

mother songster blanched by

the unpronounceable name of god,

scribbled in corners of a canvas,

light of her eyes, your eyes, Love,

glowing with a radiance not found

in paint. Child of Zarathustra,

child of black ovum, night in day,

crescent shadows blur what's calm,

restless, sovereign, your hair

like hers the finery of an age of Bronze.