A Pairing: Francis Bacon + Sharon Olds

red cardinal - francis bacon

Francis Bacon, Seated Figure (Red Cardinal), 1960

It hangs deep in his robes, a delicate
clapper at the center of a bell.
It moves when he moves, a ghostly fish in a
halo of silver seaweed, the hair
swaying in the dark and the heat — and at night
while his eyes sleep, it stands up
in praise of God.

Sharon Olds, The Pope’s Penis