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“Zandunga in Tehuantepec” by Diego Rivera

Salacious details splashed
across the pages of the press
again of you and me, today.

I yearn to call their spiteful
sting a fiction, feeding as we did
those hungry years our appetites
for juice of pomegranate, melon
twines, sweet seeded prickly
pear, your pair and mine, alas

the frenzy monstrous has
become and overshadows
turned to chiaroscuro talents
of your lusty brush, you stroke
with careless thought the fine-
toned legs that fuel murals of
Tehuantepec, the artsy set,
thick-bushed, they mob you
waving funds supplied by
husbands chasing greenbacks
having burnt the maps
to their cold marriage beds

and now I ask myself, confined
to these four posters and the mirror
where I paint myself in slow decline
how so these jealousies, for have
I not partaken equally, mixed
palettes soft and furious like you,
my sable brush to dip across wet
canvases, intoxicate, while dancing
slow zandungas to the memory
of your name?

We’ve none to blame though
time’s sweet measure pours us
here again, salacious, into arms
not yours, not mine, for in the end,
if end there be, the myriad of
colours in the mural of infinity
will shine the brightest that
derive from you and me.


© poem, “Salacious”, by Elaine Stirling, 2012

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