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Still Life on Mars

ISSUE:  Summer 2015

It’s taken everything to bring them here:
the peaches, grapes, oysters, the goblet of
wine, the table & cloth. Hardest of all
was keeping the snail alive 300 days,
hearty enough to survive two seconds
of posing.
                   We place it last, assuming the 
other props will bear in the red air. They 
don’t. Before the snail dies (and it dies
in “One Mississippi”) the peaches liquefy, 
the grapes, too, the oysters implode like 
novae. It’s a massacre, right down to the 
good linen & Château Latour.
                                                      We paint it 
anyway, going slow to compensate for our 
ridiculous gloves, stiff necks, the dim light 
of the afternoon which is blue here. It’s 
worth all this to get it right. Indeed, our 
life has never been so urgently shown. 
How brief the fruit, the vintage & vessel.
How apt the snail, the half inch 
of its glittering service.


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