STILL LIFE WITH VAN GOGH’S EAR
Gala (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova), c. 1936
Pink chrysanthemums melt and spread
across the surface of the black-bound bible.
To the left, a clear glass jar of yellow pencils,
each with a small, fierce face and tiny
wings. The ear,
no longer fresh,
has dropped a bit of blood
on the Spanish lace table covering.
Outside the thinly-curtained window,
the sun shines over a field of what we presume
are red poppies. At least,
that’s what we’re meant to presume.