"Ying-Yang Fish at La Quinta del Sordo" by Christopher Munde

Christopher Munde

Christopher Munde

Christopher Munde’s poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Beloit Poetry Journal, Blackbird, The Hollins Critic, Hunger Mountain, Massachusetts Review, Phoebe, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He completed his MFA at the University of Houston in 2008, and was awarded an Academy of American Poets/Brazos Bookstore Prize in the same year. Presently, he lives in western NY, where he teaches as an adjunct instructor at Jamestown Community College.

Ying-Yang Fish at La Quinta del Sordo

As if beneath the restorer’s slow brush the tank’s acidity is managed
Until it comes time to sear the meal to the gills:  Tenderness
Begetting freshness:  Investments.  Goya,

Gagged silent by the smell, by walls awash in alarming paint,
Pulls it live from the oil.
                                    There is nothing so awake
As his eyes, rabid in Saturn’s flaking face:
Tender of the crop, teeth ground flat and green.

Tenderness of the green grounds:  The same awe wrung
From the young by their fathers:  Tenderizers, salting (what
Mutilates the crop, what you’d never say of a child)
                                    To prolong freshness.

The softness of everything shutting up
For Goya:  The meal mouthing in its half-paralysis,
Its eyes manifold about the walls, as though scooped
From a moon’s undercarriage. 
                                    All sound
Gradually carved from the hip of each ivory key.

From hours, and the calamity of workers’ voices, from gentle tools
For seizing the artist’s walls, these faces will only fall dimmer:

Just as the crackle of meat supersedes their eyes (shelled
And varnished), so rose trim oxidizes each painted form,
                                    The cacophony spat gnashing over Saturn
Reading to his sons.