She stepped out of
Galeries Lafayette
That soft and supple girl
Only sixteen
Sweet and unassuming.

Did her heart clench
When he caught her wrist
Did she hear the snap?
The clang?
The thud of a club
Hitting the soft bone of a seal pup?

Or did she think it was love?

Sixteen and so
Off      limits.

A young blonde girl
For sculpting.

“Love” even with her eyes pulled out
And re-stuck
So that she was looking at him
Even while facing away.

“Love” while he
Undressed her in the street.
He kissed her throat
Her fingertips.
And his wife called her

So he called his wife “monster”
Over and over
While he made love to Marie
Down the beach
From where his son was playing.

Did Marie’s small cries
Tumble out onto the sand
And stagger, weak-kneed to the sea?

Did delight shudder through her
Like Leda
From the god turned man turned animal?

And when his indifferent beak
Let her drop
Did she still call it love,
This art-making?



Painting by Pablo Picasso, “Le Reve”, 1932