Odilon's Ophelia

by Andie Joon

about the writer:

I'm a writer from Port Townsend, WA.

The embalming action of the water

And the viscous skin of its surface

Buries the memory of Aristotelian plot,

And congeals bouquets of insoluble flowers

In and around the death-spot of her neck,

Making vandals of their choking petals—

Crimson shapes of illiterate significance

Decapitating the evidence of actual cause.

Ophelia, painted amid vague remembrance,

Whose colors madden the margins and

Confuse the structural canopy of sense,

Is teemed into vision by a bawdy boot

Removing itself from a puddle of oil,

Or a well, on the point of spilling over,

That upon its plaque glorifies purpose,

Prophecy, and evangelistic beauty—

So much of a cadaver is she that

Her skin is no longer milky, but analgesic,

Detached upon the blue of her background

As if she were a conjured thought,

A horoscopic luminary of stars equated.

Her hair floats its charcoal craft,

Bulging against the unflinching isle

Of her sewed-up eyes and the altruism

Of her painstakingly practiced smile.