Contemplating Diego Rivera’s Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park
It must have been something, to dream one's self back into a boy,
to be in the wedding party for Death and her stern but oblivious groom,
each of you clutching a pale, boney hand, shaded by the wide brimmed feather hat
she wore—she smiling with two men in tow, of both present and past.
How else would an artist dream such a thing
except to bring along hot air balloons? Laying in bed
you must have had more than the independence of the Mexican people
in mind. You must have been thinking about freedom,
what it was like to pause for a brief moment, only to be lost
within the anonymity of the crowd, each face a friend or demon from the past
who knew nothing of poses or murals.
Not birds, but angels who'd carried themselves down out of the trees.
Generalissimos all dressed the part arguing the order of precedence
the grand parade through the city square to the high fountain
while all the gringos and gringas turned away, not quite sure of themselves.
And because no dream is complete without a glimpse of mortality
you know you were thinking Death was your bride, just as Frida had been
all those years ago. And her appearance, standing behind you, giving you away
had to be something about transition, about how Death
had been your mistress far too long.
Justin Evans lives with his wife and three sons in rural Nevada where he teaches History and Honors Seminar. Justin's most recent chapbook, Working in the Bird House, was published by Foothills Publishing in 2008. His work is forthcoming in Limpwrist. Visit his blog here. (email@example.com)