The Pact of Silence

Arles, 1889

My Dearest Paul,

All I wanted was to love you. That glass I threw was only the beginning.
From the first time I saw you painting — those damn brown women in their
missionary dresses, the way they averted their eyes from you, the sunflowers
of my yellow (I won’t say you stole it, but we both know what’s true) —
I should have known you’d shard my heart.

The yellow house, that night. I’m sorry I tried to –.
You had every right. But still. My ear? My ear? Why not take
my limb, my eye, the left lobe of my heart? On that starred night,
I used the last of your canvas to wrap it in, the tiny thing,
and gave it to that harlot
you liked better than me.

Syphilis makes you unwilling to listen.
But hear me when I say:
Your épée is in the river.
You’re out of canvas.
The harlot is dead.
Those brown women don’t love you.
I would have painted you more than sunflowers.
I loved you.
I love you.

You are quiet. I will be too.





I went to the Seattle Art Museum today to see the Gauguin exhibit. While I wasn’t overly impressed with Gauguin’s art, I did learn something cool about him and Van Gogh.


This entry was published on February 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm and is filed under February, Poems, Seattle, Self-Portraits. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “[42]

  1. ancient lensman on said:

    Your scalpel is sharp, Shanna.

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