In her own words...

"Of Flesh and Gold"


They swoon in the sun,
Pulchritudinous girls, boys.
Inside a door yawns.

At these rites the moon
Trembles and, worse, disappears.
Without an excuse.

Body and face drift
Down with nightfall, unnoticed.
Draw near, draw nearer

Your destination.
Arriving bates a saved breath,
If that's the answer.

You always want more
Of the mire that lacerates.
Your veil is sulphur.

Slice a meteor
One bite of its transparence
Most satisfying

Down there in the blue
It didn't really happen:

Sometimes in screaming
Echo fell silent as stone.
Yes, she lied she lied.

Death on a weekend
Opened the dance like a vein
Flaming flesh and gold.


About this work

“Of Flesh and Gold” was published in Solo: A Journal of Poetry, no. 5 (2002), p. 160, as "In Flesh and Gold."  It was first published in 1973 as a series of ten poems in French with ten etchings by the artist in En chair et en or, Éditions Georges Visat, Paris.

“Of Flesh and Gold” is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, A Table of Content: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2004, p. 42, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.

J. D. McClatchy recorded a reading of this poem on April 17, 2015.