Gail Goepfert

Everything moves in tune with what the belly contains

Without Hope, 1945

Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central by Diego Rivera

Slight in your oak-framed confinement
your naked body presses the sheets—
your coverlet
swims in moon-pie shaped
microbes and cells.

The artless easel drools
fishheads, a plucked chicken, the leg end 
of a turkey, stringed sausages that hang 
with eviscerated entrails—
funneling food-fuel to your lips 
putting living on hold.

How might I prune back
the evidence of your suffering?

Only the sugar skull
sweetens the unbutchered meat 
you swallow and regurgitate— 
an ill-fated omen,
your name printed above the caverns for eyes.

This is not the rhapsody in the marriage bed
you long for.
Not a dreamy diaphanous starlit night.

I want to cup your tears, pour 
them like bleach on this hope-defiled canvas, 
remove the sun rimmed in red,
a blazing marigold.

Let me dim the proof of your wound—
leave only the soft moon to dimple your sky.


About the writer:
Gail Goepfert is a poet and photographer and a teacher. She’s an associate editor at RHINO Poetry. Her books include A Mind on Pain, 2015 and Tapping Roots, 2018, and a third, Get Up Said the World, which will be released in early 2019 by Červená Barva Press. 

Image: Detail from Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central by Diego Rivera (1886-1957). Mural. 51 x 15 feet. 1946-47. Public domain.