• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 04
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Paint Lead

“I thought relic worship went out with the Middle Ages?”
The two of us doubled up in what was thought
of as reflection. Or, as if by way of demonstration
we had kissed ourselves stupid with a contaminant
not listed in air, water or soil. Here one sucks
on some purported fragment of the artist’s skull,
cushions in ‘Maximum Red’, ‘Positive Addict’ natural
as bleached canvas floats in fashionable oblivion.
Lip trills, ‘Paint Me Compassionate’, as a mouth
in Victorious Cupid, 1606, or that ‘True Red,’ spurt
of woolly string necking at Judith’s beheaded. See,
if a quiver of pigmented arrows tips matter into making
the mind “give way”, what lies with ease to cross
the placenta, enters the foetal brain with toxic smile?
At the point of two contrasted extremes gradually
each begins to prepare for a union built up in the body
over time, each alone, final in the knowledge that it is
never safe from any level of exposure. This monumental
die-off slow gloss showing as paintings’ leaden proof.