Sport 35: Winter 2007
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.
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.