Milk, Blood

(Cibachrome print, Andres Serrano, 1986)

...most people criticizing my work
have never seen it...
—Andres Serrano

The artist works with available light.
These are honest images, not pornographic,
but innocent. We are born naked, buried clothed.
Lamb of God, take away the sins of the world.

A grey kitten laps milk from a red bowl.
There is blood on the fangs of a black hound.
A cardinal lies still in the shadow of a hemlock
wings spread as if in flight on snow.

Peel a rose, unfold a lotus; it is high tea,
Sunday service. Choose the shipping channel,
you set buoy or bell, fisherman or fishC
but, this is Serrano. Be seduced, be repelled,
snag on that disturbing clot, a healing, a warning:

fluids act in predictable ways. These things give life.
These things will kill you. With the twin horns of mind
pierce the glass and drink, drink deep—now swallow.

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