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Writing by Jess Rush. Painting 'L'Incendie des Tuileries' by Georges Clairin, 1871.


all black

even the eyes

in her hand

a small gloaming

glints off wrapped silver smoke snakes to scarlet petals naked ladies

crafted in cream

she flicks a fingertip

delicate despite

a callous charred remorselessly

I consider Catherine’s

vision converted to ruins

the whole place

gone up in flames

the neon shrieks

multiplied in fear

the women with their sale bags in awe of the disintegration

of order

and I imagine the poets

curled by catastrophe

as if lounging by hearth

on cold winter’s eve

that certain gaze undisturbed by chaos

hung up on flowers

and bird bodies

the dissection of names

how to birth

and later

how to disappear

July, 2021

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