Tales From the Artist and His Model by John Grey


Her nature
was rendered intangible.
Her body parts
floated in free space.

His brushwork subtracted
the same time as it multiplied,
divided physiognomy
by a factor of eye and nostril.

He captured
the rise of her breasts
in her mouth’s unwitting downfall,
replaced her cheeks with riddles,
deconstructed her body
into squares, circles,
and exquisite moiré,
while her legs flew off into space
and her arms contented themselves
with being quaking lines and color.

When the work was done,
she stared incomprehensibly
at the canvas.

“Is that what I look like to you?”
she asked.
It was never meant to be
an image of her,
just a perfect replica
of that question.

©2019 John Grey


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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and Roanoke Review.


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