Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Alphabet of the Peacock’s Eyes
from Alphabets of Desire and Sorrow: A Book of Imaginary Colophons

A noise like earth might make could mountains be torn up by their roots or like the ocean were it to move on its great hinge from out its basalt bed—the peacock’s anguished cry surprised Marguerite Dupont in the Luxembourg Garden with an artist notorious for his paintings of women, denounced as “lewd and monstrous” by the critic at Le Figaro. Always thereafter when she thought of that afternoon, it was not the artist’s eyes, humid with desire, she remembered but those of the peacock’s train—like pharaoh’s that saw to the limits of his Egypt, which was all the world. None who would attempt to decipher her eccentric Book of Rebuses, in which the eye recurred more than any other image, could know that it hid the secret of an adulterous love.  

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