The statues are wearing blindfolds
as the footage goes grainy: M16’s & tanks…
Are we each the other’s shield here
or stones for the stepping?
while in a hospital some man’s collecting skin,
This ritual comes from the Egyptians,
yet where’s the painted urns, the myrrh,
the oiled perfumes?
In a crowd, at a sea shell shop
an old lover’s scent comes back
on someone else & suddenly all is the damp
sticky cling wrap of sweat & seed…
God, how to stop jumping—–
Transition the absolute whorls
of those calcified shapes whitening
Once I saw their likeness arranged on a grave:
Shells & polished stones set amid beads & flowers…
Drowning? Being of ‘these times’ then?
but the forms, recollected, they recollect me
to the good & the true
as a tank
grows into nose-gays
& the flesh-shed hospital man
rises like Nike.
Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer. Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online. He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum