Artist, decimated.
Natasha Dennerstein




                  1977
                  My body is young, a muscular parrot —
                  green peach. I rejoice and dance
                  like a dervish to the disco
                  beat. Men, men, men:
                  the party's never gonna stop.

                  1980
                  I live in Yves Klein blue
                  and Schiaparelli pink.
                  My art explodes with
                  indescribable joy. Around
                  my neck — neon, plastic tusks.

                  1983
                  My comrades-in-arms sicken.
                  A worm pierces my crimson,
                  my glorious apple. Virus
                  colonizes me and I feel
                  it multiply, evil, chromium yellow.

                  1985
                  Fungi blossom in me,
                  exquisitely unattractive.
                  I exchange the patois of Art for
                  the nomenclature of Medicine.
                  The artist becomes patient.

                  1987
                  Life ebbs away, once a dance
                  of joy sublime from blood
                  to blood to ashes
                  to ashes to dust to dust.
                  I see heaven — golden, liquidamber.