Even the trees must perform sorrow. Look,
now they are performing the performance
of sorrow. Like Brueghel’s Icarus, for instance,
because a boy falls from a great height—
white legs, green splash, wax wings—
everything must suffer by proxy. Even the Old
Masters understood they, too, would fray
beneath the teeth and belch of a blue maggot,
that a sister cannot be saved from an itch, turned
over like a black dog, cured with a lit match,
the fleas scattering into the threads of an autumn
lawn. Her itch must run and run and run.
But a boy must try, burn what he can. Burn. Burn.
Roger Reeves: Boy Removing Fleas--after Ter Borch: Boy Removing Fleas from a Dog by Jean-Michel Basquiat
"Her itch must run and run and run.
But a boy must try, burn what he can. Burn. Burn."
Reeve's contrasts how women and men are able to handle removing these symbolic "fleas," representative of how women are very limited in their ability to overcome men, just as the female members of the Dead family are pushed around and not allowed freedom because of Macon and Milkman. # # #