Final Days
(After Van Gogh—
Gayle Elen Harvey
Harvey Page 1
[Listen to readings of these poems.]

Less rested
than when you began, you paint crows hanging late
over wheat fields.
Dark inklings, they trigger spasmodic dreams.
Their numerous anthems begin
flinching you,
laying claim like the mistral's erotic

No longer bulletproof
in the midst of it, you paint dusk.
Its drenched house of petals, its true weight, impervious
with the black wings
of too many.

Your sunflowers collude.
A mosaic of garbled strokes, their yellows begin bellowing.
Colors distance the landscape.
Unopened for looking, an asylum of olive
and cypress trees
It hoards no more comfort.

No one knows
what you carry.
Uncentered, your body rushes out of
its boundaries.
You cannot endure the unguarded horizon.
This thick sky with its slurry
of stars.