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Table of

a poem by Brittany Ober

Red Red Red Paintings

"You'll eat all of your dinners
in grad school at events like this,"
he says before he bites into a slice
of pineapple. He tells her Ezra Pound
wore tuxedoes to French dinner parties
in college. Pound's knife glinted
with soft candle light as he slivered
and ate cardinal red rose petals
with his stainless
steel knife and fork.

Monochromatic panels radiate
on the gallery walls -- vermillion,
titian, cherry -- and he whispers
past the hors d'oeurves --
organic fruit salad, half warm
scallops wrapped in bacon,
stuffed mushroom caps -- as
if there were no urgency,
as if there were no tired light
blinking "exit" at the end of the hallway.

This neon signal pales beside
the bursting blood red walls:
they could stay here
after the guards lock up and sneak
into the paintings, become more intense
versions of crimson, more dangerous
shades of magenta, and feast
on roses while reciting Cantos.

But she knows after this finger food,
they will part, still hungry.
She'll leave him in the middle
of the exhibition and go home
to scribble verses inspired
by Pound's passionate teeth.

© by Brittany Ober
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #30 ~ April 2014