blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Selektion: The Painted Girl

         I’m interested in the stage of a human being where it’s not so important
         whether it’s a male or female, before we can tell any social background or
         anything, it’s just . . . abstract, almost.
—Gottfried Helnwein

like a negative bled dark                       left too long        in searing light

it’s blue           all blue                    and the blurred child              walks amid

a street of bodies                     her scant dress white             lips pursed

listening perhaps                      to the blue flute              of a distant piper

the dead in coats and scarves                 it’s cold             but her feet

bare       arms held from her sides                    and everything’s blue

her head           injured head                   gauze-wrapped          no face

blinded here            but is it worse                  than the other place

where she knelt                wearing white panties               dark eyes

masked      by her own cupped hands         black-and-white

here       the only blues inside        where to go            what to do

but whose child is this              who will confess               piper

whose child             turned monochrome               how will she

bear up           pay            why must we select                our children 

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