on the painting by Soutine
Cerét rolls over on a bed of flame
exposing an inflamed intestine turning
in upon itself. The garden’s burning
and the mill sags fallow on its frame.
Upheaval. Earthquake. A volcanic flow.
The bleeding mansard roof beguiles the plaster.
Permanent mementos of disaster
crack the lacquered surface high and low.
And on the yellow hill a gangling devil
relishes the foliating sky.
Impasto gray and blue surmount the wall,
a broken window taken for an eye.
A wheel unwinds. The leaning block and bevel
slide to the consoling balm of fall.
Museum of Modern Art
New York City