Picasso Painting of Manhattan

A silver gray bird
Of steel beak and full gizzard
Drew towards the tower,
Its ruby eyes shooting rays of rage.
As its wings grew larger and larger.
It swerved around in a loop.
And again drew towards the tower in a screeching descent.
Before it hit the tower, there was a moment of deafening silence.
Followed by a thunderous roar of flames .
The Phoenix no more.
The tower reverberated  with shrieks, tears, and agony-
A scepter from which ascended the souls of the once living.
Moans and pain could be heard in every language.
A last communal prayer ascending into the heavens.
A desperation grumbling at its trembling walls.
A thousand images drawn into its red flames….
The face of Abraham with his patriarchal beard….
Jesus with his long hair and gentle face….
A serene Mohammed draped in his flowing robes….
And many other pure faces without a name.
At the foot of the burning ghost
Lay a huge canvas many feet high by many more feet wide.
An artist with a green beret threw paint upon it,
So ferociously  that in places the gory gobbles of paint,
Pierced through the canvas.
And yet shapes of all kinds grew upon it.
A policeman riding a horse chewing upon its metal bit,
A fireman charging at a bull with his lance.
All trampling  upon metal and flesh without discrimination.
The red paint spoke of the flow of blood.
But the black denied life.
Frenetically the artist painted on,
As the flames feasted upon his art.
Not too far away- Central Park.
A short man opens a cardboard box.
And from it he draws a little brown bird.
He places it  on the ground.
The dazed bird takes several unsure steps,
Then flies into the tallest tree.
Alighting upon a branch,
Running to the top,
To breath his new found freedom.

Alvaro Pacheco


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