‘Guernica’ is a large 1937 oil painting on canvas by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
Postcard from Madrid
A postcard without a return address arrives from Madrid,
exposing the beauty of the artist’s mind.
I lose myself in the beauty of ugliest things—
the jigsaw of bones—the company of skulls, the army of arms—
bodies blown away by bombs, scattered across
the wooden walls, the creaking floor, the damp corners.
Out of the darkness, a scream frees itself
from the mouth of a woman who’s clutching her dead
child with all her might. Legs rooted to the ground, another
woman struggles to move ahead, to break through
the cracks in the plank flooring. Flames
consume a woman walking by, her
cries of terror ring in the air—the only sound you’ll ever
hear when the mad bull tramples you. Or, say a spear
runs right through your body, and you become
the horse screaming in anguish. From the jagged lamp,
a shower of bombs land on you—in the Fascist debris,
you are a soldier lying defeated, holding
a splintered sword—and then a white poppy
pushes itself out, trying to inhale a lungful of life.
I keep staring at you, the dead ones,
and for a moment, forget to blink, breathe, and become.
Poetry by Yayāti
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Written on 2019-12-19 at 12:11
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