The Heart Revealed

Sonja Johanson

Featured image: Tide momentum © A. Anupama 2017

–Portrait of Tita Thirifays, Rene Magritte, 1936

The quiet Aegean; first, there was only the tide.
Steady wavelets running up the limestone sands,
long building of history, grain by water carried grain,
the patience of the moon against the barrier beach.

Now, we gaze on sculptures housed like the dead.
The marbled flesh, the empty weight of pallid eyes.
We put her on that pedestal, her perfect form,
the way you would wipe colour from a statue.*

But when she stood for him, she was alive.
The hand which swept the dark drape of her dress
put distance in her eyes, her striking face, mixed
carmine for her lips before he kissed them.

*with a line from Euripides’ Helen of Troy