Sunflower Skins

July 29, 2008

Heat

Filed under: prose — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Sunflower Skins @ 5:07 pm

It is the summer of 1890, July. Paris is hot. Relief can be found in the wheat fields.

Lie my head back into the soft ground. Tall golden stalks surround me on either side. Van Gogh loved his absinthe so, his vision was yellow. My colored eyes, huge, flicker up to his face. I’m Sien, drowning myself in the river, I’m Theo, watching over with a brother’s care. I’m Kathy, walking through the beautiful light.

How could I have not known the wound was fatal? I put the revolver to my chest. And yet it took two days to die.

It is a common misconception that “Wheat Field with Crows” was Vincent Van Gogh’s final painting. “Daubigny’s Garden” is more likely, although he spent many of his last days gazing sublimely around Auvers. The painting that survives depicts a foreboding sky with black clouds rolling in and a flock of crows flying over the field. They are held to be the symbol that Van Gogh knew he was about to die and some critics claim that he killed himself while painting it. Three paths of indecision weave their way through the wheat.

The canvas stands before me naked and pale like a beautiful woman. Masturbate in front of me. I began to use oil paints eight years ago. Now I dip the fine hairs of the brush into a glob and paint a long, dark sky threatening the hardest rain to ever hit the fields of Auvers. The yellow and amber wheat is shining like patches in the sun. And the black rooks fly off into the horizon: leave death in their wake, or go forward towards it,

Three paths. Choose.

I take the brush and paint a long, dark line down from my collar bone to the curve of my left hip, stroking, just barely, my pelvic bone. Desire. The oil lies on top of my skin in thin layers and it will not dry for a long time. Not while you’re here. You are not here, Vincent. Desire is a dream with your face, he says, desire was a dream.

“La tristesse durera toujours.”

It is the summer of 1890, July. Paris is hot. Relief can be found in the wheat fields. My eyes, huge, flicker up to my reflection in the glass. This is not my final painting. No one knows but see it in my own face, speak last words but I’m painting, painting. The black crows are flying, flying away–

Choose.

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