some god

by Jerry Ratch


I remember a painting of a young girl (this could have been me) who had just given birth. She was almost smiling while she slept. Her upper lip was violet with exhaustion. One hand left up behind her head where it was thrown during the exertion of birth, and the wet bright hair that curls around her ear. A cat resting with its chin on her foot in a green shadow, and the woman or girl sleeps with a slight smile, now that the child of (some god) has been taken out of her body.


But in an earlier painting, lavender rains keep falling through the deep rose night, as the spirit of the dead watches over me. Leaves appear out of the air behind me, or the ear of a cow, or its muzzle. While I am lying naked on the yellow cover with my backside exposed, looking over my shoulder for you. Both hands pressed face down on the pillow as I listen in the night, and the violet color rains down outside, and I continue to wait for your arrival.


You and I are in this night, together. We are in these paintings, as we were in this life. You could see me as I was then, young and without will. Nothing was subtle. I was as direct as only young girls in the Midwest can be. You could hold my whole soul in the tips of your fingers, which in fact you did, as you know.


I would wither under your stare and under your touch, and the little god was taken out of me like a little flame and held cupped between your hands like a butterfly, a small bird, a moth with speckled wings. And you lifted my hair and showered my neck with kisses, so many.