Dark Rupture (James Baldwin) 1941 – Beauford Delaney
I’ve stopped appraising my skin.
The soused thin of it; a receding
I imagine it. My skin. To be something
auxiliary. Unraveling about. Consuming.
Beauford begins to paint Jimmy.
Were you singing? Baraka asks.
The rest in the tremor of dots, a white sun.
Beauford’s brush gently strikes the linen acid.
A gesso laced canvas. Jimmy’s unbuttoned oxford.
Russet slides into black opsins, eye bags.
The one lick of blue, winter’s
Shadows drench the portrait’s budding flora.
A glass vaults through a diner window. Jimmy threw it
in New York. Beauford caught it in Paris. In Istanbul, they drank, again.
Beauford’s hematic hand. Fringed peaks of the opus.
Pealing red chimes surrounds.