Will Stone

Van Gogh's Room

Gutted cell
the skylight dominates.
Two long walls, two short.
An opening from the door.
We linger there, the guide and I
where he came in each night,
eyes red from strain and corndust,
sat on the narrow bed,
stacked still warm canvasses
beneath, then sleep.

He bled grey one unnoticed afternoon,
bled from the wound
under tree shadow that darkened
the delirious journey back.
The deep poppy red was blood.
The yellow a movement
that whispering failed to follow.
But now besotted fans file in,
they scale the winding stair,
shuffle, walk in, walk out,
turn around, go back down,
convinced their hero suffered well
in seven different languages.


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