Maureen Kingston
Tête d'otage no. 20 (Jean Fautrier, 1944)

Adam’s rib / The guiding trowel / Eve’s thigh meat / The plaster flesh / The shape? /
One we know all too well / An elementary contour / An opaque projection of the human
head / And only one mark punctuates the drab gray matter / A squiggle of blood mid-
field / A snaking frequency / A tone only our species can hear / The screech of guilt from
Eden’s backwoods /

Of course it’s Christ’s face we long to see / In Fautrier’s pâté on canvas-shroud / A
simulacrum / Like Jesus toast / A sign of hope / A message of deliverance in French
finger food / But that would be a lie / The painter was there / Witnessed / Heard the
torture night after night / His medium’s no cooking jest / It is malignant-mud he intends
to slather / To expose /

Silted fear unearthed / Cemented to the picture plane / The gun’s been fired / The
bullet’s penetrated the brain / The wounded delta’s our common ground / Our
connective tissue / The estate we all must share / Whenever we cross over / Whenever
we become / Willing hostages to hate /