Death of a Lady’s Man
Photo: Jerome Sessini—Magnum Photos
Late Thursday, a field of sunflowers in eastern Ukraine was transformed into the scene of a tragedy when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. Photographer Jerome Sessini was one of the first people to arrive. He wasn’t prepared for what he was saw.
War is not declared any more,
but simply continued. The terrible
is an everyday thing.
—Ingeborg Bachmann, from “Every Day” (translated by Christopher Middleton) in A Book of Women Poets from Antiquity to Now
by elizabeth gross
here your brilliant mouth
here your crimson eye.
here your fire is my dawn, this roof my black sewn sky.
my green mouth and my hands, the scabs
of your absence, the healed-over wound,
granular with memories of the stars beneath your sun.
in the blind corridor between night and
morning, you take my hand. my definitions
are shrunken, split infinitives. everything is possible
and nothing happens. each time i open
my eyes there’s another one in front
of my hearth, naked with need.
i want a heart. i want a hearth. i
want a child with eyes like the sky
and strong hands. i want to break him
of every foul habit and live full of
peace. i want to break him.
give me memory of my mother’s eyes
at sunset and i will give you this
bolt of cloth she wove. the light
failed. her eyes narrowed, tough
and fibrous as the meat of her
heart, dun mud against
the bare and barren rock.
i’ve listened to the snake
for far too long. oh my lord come back to me.
The Triumph of Death, detail - Pieter Bruegel the Elder
oil on panel
117 cm × 162 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid