Dorian Vallejo, Reflections, 2016
Oil on wooden panel

I imagine the body in the trees,
mountains, turning a cabin or picnic
basket inside out, or the campers
or picnickers themselves, or fluting
love from a freezing stream with hands
broken somewhere short of useful fingers
but sharp and skillful enough, or, yes, shitting
in those woods; or maybe it swivels
its head in unholy circles, watches
with the patience or serenity
or wisdom assigned anything
wide-eyed but altogether willing
to dive earthward and end a life.
Though I doubt the body can fly.
I weight the splice and shape it takes
and wonder that it ever moves at all.
The body spins from madmen’s experiments
full of function and free of meaning,
and if it does not stalk this world
to a sensible, bloody conclusion
I think I will consume it fully,
without a hair or feather of remorse.


Marvin Shackelford