Tityus, In Black Chalk on Antique Paper by Dwaine Rieves
In this drawing, the aging Michelangelo gifted the much younger artist Tommaso dei Cavalieri with a drawing prompt. The vulture pecking at the man’s liver was a lesson imparting architectural knowledge.
—Web Gallery of Art
Bed-bound and approaching eighty, my father made passes at his nurses.
The women were embarrassed to tell it, but did—reasoning as we did, reflex
only, urge unearthed, an old man reaching…for relief?
For more devouring?
For some organ within him regenerating, some gift not for his body,
but the ever-punishing beak above?
Not sin, grope not even danger.
My father would chuckle for no reason, cooperate with lifters.
Magic dilates blackness, pain like eyes turning.
The drawing is incriminating, my father taking more to be taken.
Craving beyond the master, loss beastly about the art.
Red stiff as liver, the vulturine time at the lax belly keeps pecking.
The artist himself slumped full frontal, hands arising, penis shriveled.
My father would smile, testicles round as ripe persimmons.
BIO: Dwaine Rieves is a medical imaging scientist in Washington, DC.