Abraham Sutzkever

(1913 - 2010 / Smorgon, Russian Empire)

The Road To Paradise - Poem by Abraham Sutzkever

Of all the precious paintings in the Louvre
(Centuries match up a wall with a wall),
I am haunted by a skinless face of fate:
The cow with her flesh-split breast — by Rembrandt.

It seems:
The tremendous Dutchman gulped down
His gilded goblets of colors,
His secret wines,
And suddenly saw in his drunken skull
A gallows.
A hanging cow.
And here, his dream immortalized…

He put his dream on the butcherblock, skinned it —
To reveal the color of a cow's moo.
And prayed, and covered his canvas with wounds,
To bring into the Louvre paradise
The cow.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 21, 2014

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