The Sanatorium at St. Paul de-Mausole

Wendy Drexler

Van Gogh weeps and washes
        his brushes with the tip
of his tongue and his tears.

He walks into the assaulted
        fields. Cicadas clench him
   like fever. Too close

to fire, he begins to make
        fire from the swill

of olive trees shaken like silver
    spoons inside a drawer
   of his mind. Again he shifts

        from foot to foot, finding
         a place for hunger, the ravished

backs of stars, devouring clouds,
  nailbeds of sullen yellow

sky, the jagged iron
  hooves of mountains,

rearing. He vaults over the pain he has made
  of himself a little less now.

And the crow breaks free.