David Clarke, "Blow," 2014, pewter and spoons
1. As if it were an outstretched arm & cupped hand, made fine as any by Hilliard: carved rock crystal, gold shaped to bear an unborn sea to pale lips. That faint sound, the rustle and shush of watered silk; and fainter, still, under Argentan lace, a whispering pulse at the wrist of the hand that holds the spoon.
2. So delicate, this coral tree grafted on a stalk of shell-pearl white as shaved ice! Beading sweat jewels the skin while women “naked in different postures, some in conversation … others drinking Coffee or sherbet” wait for the same slaves who brought them şerbet spoons to weave ribbons through their hair.
3. Twelve apostles plus Christ, hammered out of silver not nail-iron, forged as a set for the child-to-be-immersed. These are now hidden in a drawer, set in rows on rag paper, loosely covered with a white cloth: a winding shroud to preserve them from the rot of time, from the degradation of touch on saint or spoon.
4. We two, who feed ourselves with art, lick it in all its forms from a single source of joy like sticky children sucking the sweetness from a snow cone, staining fingers, lips, tongues— we, too, carve ourselves into the necessary shapes to dig a little deeper into that dish; are cast, molten, into the forms of spoons.