Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear
by Bob Bradshaw


I found myself in Arles ' brothel
offering Rachel my severed lobe.
Somehow I staggered home.

How embarrassed I was
upsetting you about that...

This self portrait should reassure you.
My cheeks are a pale yellow
but a fleshy pink is emerging.
The bandage could be that of a man
recovering from an abscessed tooth.

Dressed in my green overcoat,
I look fit, don't you agree?

Have you heard from Margot?

I remember that day in the field...
She was writhing on the ground,
her body a muscle in spasms.

Her parents had opposed our marriage.
Margot had taken strychnine.

Nothing has shaken me, Theo,
as much as that moment.

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