Donald Wellman

Bodies of Evidence

Sopa de pez: peppery maximum, studying the light
Décor of Huatulco, sacked by Drake, 1578.
Across García Vigil, Trotsky’s brain, exposed artifact
Centro Fotográfico Alvarez Bravo.
To document violence against workers,
corpse of a female tourist,
transvestites pose in a courtroom, expressive hand gestures.
Young violinists in pinstripes
(Casasola Family Archive).

What if one of the attendants stepped forward
with questions for me that I wanted to answer?
Thrust a knife into the table
Wooden tooth in the vein at the neck

Two women against a wall, photographed as if posing to be photographed, 1930.
A call to revolt. Cadaver in the alley his hat in place.
Murder of Mella, Tina Modotti, herself as herself,
staged to prove
absolved, exposed.

The figure who looks at the stars: a figure within a figure,
father and son. Ribs irradiated,
rib cage of the god of death.
The figural sky of Rufino Tamayo,
History’s component parts,
cut-away diagrams,
Skirt of astral transparency,
Francisco Gutiérrez.

A Nyarit man scratches his head, quizzical
Flat speckled stone
The hive in his stubby right hand
Universal womb