Dennis Hinrichsen

Through Birds, Through Fire But Not Through Glass

The food is cold and so his mind drifts

a blue fin angling toward deeper water

the sky’s thin music

like a woman’s singing

from the other side of a wall

and so he tongues that night’s gristle

he can spit it out later

he can cover it up like a cat

his heart throbbing

muscular butterfly among the marigolds

though now he nods/speaks little

to the swagged faces

animal/vinegar stink of a sister

a brother’s waxen scalp

his parents higher up

with their bronzed teeth and wrecked liquors

he waits for the shove-off into dusk

when he can drag the short blade

through woven bark

the initial or full name signifying possession

or un-thought-through greed

then the longer blade pinched open

for deeper cutting

sometimes so quickly

accidentally

the skin, even the shirt tails

are blurred with bloody moth-prints

though he sometimes draws it

on purpose, a dare

over a thigh or forearm’s bunched skin

so he can follow each layer’s snap, release

a fraying rope inside the dermis

and sense something give

the whole elegant structure collapsing

a girl’s hard breathing beside him (her turn next)

as blood oozes from the hardly bleeding wound

spit rubbed in to make this tribal

the names still un-carved

the witness still to be carved

the girl’s arm laid out in a stench of creosote

for eternity is a steel blade in a child’s hand

Comments
  1. Jeramy Jensen on

    I am in the process of writing about this same work. You seemed to hit it on the mark while I am clumsily trying to find the right words and way to describe this painting.

  2. Jeramy Jensen on

    I am in the process of writing about this same work. You seemed to hit it on the mark while I am clumsily trying to find the right words and way to describe this.

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