windfall apples withering to brown before they can be culled sauced or clumped with drooping hyacinths blue grapes and melting pears amassed for the palette as if the color of rotting will hold still
they painted the putrid, prettied the bloody bandages with skill the sickly smells emanated off the canvas you could inhale Van Gogh’s unwashed peasants but never Rothko’s stacked colors yet each in their aching ways could crack you
make it new, Pound said, as if we grow in each succeeding era an impervious skin an armor for the horror and so for the lone wolf and the black-clad teen-ager with the weaponized vest we must learn anew how to paint a perishing beauty
-- Florence Weinberger has published 4 books of poetry, most recently Sacred Graffiti, with another forthcoming from Tebot Bach. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, River Styx, Comstock Review, Nimrod, Miramar, Cider Press Review, Poetry East, others, and numerous anthologies. She served as a judge for the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Contest.