Picture A: half-moon of parasols, moving
like a caterpillar on a branch, arc of S.
shoes emerge from underneath
they are the chain which connects the pearls…
the necklace wraps around, gracefully,
but when the woman bends over the pearls come undone.
Picture B: parallel lines of color
on a beach in the South of Portugal.
Drinks are served. Glances are cast.
Eyes close with the image before them in mind.
Eyes close but the parasols, those parasols,
blooms of summer, narrowed to darts
thorns in a hand that pulls down the night,
are still on the beach when she asks,
knowing what she’s seen, “Can we go?”
to which he replies, having only watched her,
“My love, whatever you wish.”
click to enlarge
Marcel Duchamp, Female Fig Leaf, 1950
Marcel Duchamp, Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating
Female fig leaf
Reveals a landscape, reclined
Leaves and twigs about her legs
A lantern in the distance
Water running softly, continually.
I peer through the peep hole.
It is dark where I am and bright where she is,
Hundreds of miles from home.
I forget where I am from,
taken in by the slit which is open
and which is the only face that is exposed.
Like the mouth of an adult who is towering, talking
her clitoris is all I want to look at.
Hot breath on my shoulder reminds,
It is time for another's turn.
The blood of the city lights
explodes onto a corner
click to enlarge
Marcel Duchamp, Nude
Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912
and covers a group of nine
in uniforms they never imagined.
Chatter ensues but the lady in stride
[a line, infrathin]
and is gone,
leaving them exposed, barren
in the corner of a city at night.
On the building to one side,
their shadows form spires
but these men and one woman
in front of the armory
are bystanders only
To them, the lady is naked. She is shame.
She is the replaceable stair.