March 2023

Back to Issue 13

Radiant Arrows

By Gregory Piko

after Composition by Lyubov Popova, 1921


Beyond the portal leading to the next room 

a coffee-coloured armchair settles 

comfortably in the afternoon sunshine. 

Radiant arrows dart from wall to wall. 

Bounce from one gleaming surface 

to another like billiard balls rebounding 

from velvet cushions. 


As I peer through the doorway, brilliant 

beams of light begin to dismember the chair, 

carving silently through fabric and timber. 

Segmenting and deforming an object which, 

only a moment earlier, had seemed strong and 

enduring. With each passing minute, my world 

rotates. The dazzling sun moves lower 

in the sky. Shapes lose their edge. Objects 

distort. On a distant beach in Spain, 

pocket watches sag and droop. 


But time rarely stands still. A little more 

rotation and the star’s power pours directly 

through the glass. Everlasting artefacts burst 

into flame. I lift a hand to shield my eyes. 

Is this what eternity looks like? The obverse of a 

pitch-black night. The relentless heat and glare 

of a firestorm from which there is no 

salvation. Overwhelmed, overpowered: 

the coffee-coloured armchair disappears 

into the light.