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October 2016, vol 12 no 3

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Diane DeCillis

In The Garden of the Universe

When the physicist said every piece of everyone—everything you look at, from the thing you hate to that which is most precious, was assembled by the forces of nature in the first moments of the universe—it took the artist back to her earliest memory of being one with the soil.

A packet of wildflowers
spills willy-nilly
hard to decipher the weeds

Imagine what she might have written in her journal— At night my dandelions evoke the grace of prayer. They fold up their florets like evening primrose, having gathered the moon and the scattered stars.

Dearest—wise old confessor
my secrets lie in
your seeded beard unfolding

The physicist said when you die pieces of you will return to the universe in the endless cycle of death and rebirth. The artist understood this when she carved Viva la Vida into the fruit of her last work, a still life of watermelons, whole and hewn against an open blue sky.

Later her husband, the famed muralist, by coincidence or affinity, assembled a lush tableau— watermelons, his final painting—flesh pulsing ripe and crimson, sown with glossy black seeds.

Inside every seed and leaf
viva la vida
this is where you will find me

Previously published in Forge 9.2, October of 2015.