Monday, November 20, 2017

Mapplethorpe


In the photograph
he’s holding a stick with a skull
on top. He’s dying.

His own ravaged death’s head face
stares out of the frame
as if floating

on the black background.
He’s taken the most spectral
picture of his life.

The uncompromising shutter
exposing the final light
in his eyes,

the pockmarked skin stretched
thin, like papery gauze
over bone.

All that beauty.
The framed, perfect shots
so carefully crafted,

so delicately manicured
even the hot flop
of a heavy cock

doesn’t shock, but hangs
like a living weight
of muscle.

Flesh is his domain -
the bulk and shape of bodies.
Counterbalanced

by the intricately structured
curves of flowers
casting shadows.

So evanescent
they could be floating
interstellar beings caught.

I drift with them awhile,
feel the truth of skin and bone
and fetishistic sex.

Men’s bodies grappling
and alone. The spurt of sperm,
a fist, a chain.

And his last face
punching my heart
from the other side.



15 November 2017

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