Ramón Cote Baraibar

GINEVRA BENCI - Poem by Ramón Cote Baraibar

Leonardo da Vinci
There is something superior
to love
and it is oblivion
because it silently
goes on filing
all that out of passion
or solitude
we sometime considered eternal.

Any day we take notice
when we want to remember the face
of a woman kissed a thousand times,
and instead of going over her eyelids,
lose ourselves in the depths of her mouth,
recall the double deer-leap of her eyebrows,
to find to our bewilderment
an oval
swinging in the air of the past
as if it were a solitary fruit.

Then memory
in a desperate move of recovery,

employs green words
like juniper
and uses a mandolin
as background music
to achieve its restitution.

But the verdict of time is irreversible.
And treasonable is the labour of oblivion.

Now I understand you
anguishing Ginevra Benci,
when in the dark room of an American
museum you look at nobody,
hopelessly, like a lamp lit
in broad daylight,
impassively enduring
the couples that pass without looking at you,
their praise for other Madonnas.

Having the most perfect face,
the most delicate ever fashioned by Leonardo,
has been of no use to you because you carry,
like a curse, the indelible brand
of the oval
of oblivion.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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