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Sport 35: Winter 2007


page 44



We discuss the paintings of St Sebastian.
In the first he finds respite against a tree,
face passive, one leg forward
and halo jaunty.

You note that his mane of hair looks soft—
like lamb's down.
I say he could leave at any time,
the bindings loose on his womanly wrists,
the arrows just a Halloween joke.

When we examine the second painting
you unconsciously draw back
from the anguish:
his body is crumpled towards the viewer,
face like wet clay,
the arrows a brutal compass.

page 45


I step from my robe
onto the platform.
The teacher swivels lights
and talks about tonality.

As the room heats
a bead of sweat runs slowly
from an armpit down my bare breast,
a distracting tickle.

I focus on faces—
an older man with square glasses,
a slim woman with shapely lips.

At the break I walk the line
of drawings—my eyes stare back
with ten different expressions.

I accuse myself, I am wistful;
in one sketch
the emotion is elusive.