the spirit of the dead watching. Gauguin

by Jerry Ratch


The only thing that can possibly lean back against the totem pole like that, shrouded in black, with a green face, is pure unadulterated witchcraft. Watching over the naked girl lying spread out upon a yellow blanket with the wits scared out of her.


Listening too much to the night, with its whistles, bright lights of luminescent bursts like leaves on fire, or the raised ear of a cow in the purple mist, or the curled tail of a pig foraging in the night.


The girl's black hair curling out upon the pillow, as she lies there with the palms of both hands face down, ready to spring, but with her feet crossed out of fear.