Six hours like this for a few francs.
Belly nipple arse in the window light,
he drains the color from me. Further to the right,
Madame. And do try to be still.
I shall be represented analytically and hung
in great museums. The bourgeoisie will coo
at such an image of a river-whore. They call it Art.
Maybe. He is concerned with volume, space.
I with the next meal. You’re getting thin,
Madame, this is not good. My breasts hang
slightly low, the studio is cold. In the tea-leaves
I can see the Queen of England gazing
at my shape. Magnificent, she murmurs,
moving on. It makes me laugh. His name
is Georges. They tell me he’s a genius.
There are times he does not concentrate
and stiffens for my warmth.
He possesses me on canvas as he dips the brush
repeatedly into the paint. Little man,
you’ve not the money for the arts I sell.
Both poor, we make our living how we can.
I ask him Why do you do this? Because
I have to. There’s no choice. Don’t talk.
My smile confuses him. These artists
take themselves too seriously. At night I fill myself
with wine and dance around the bars. When it’s finished
he shows me proudly, lights a cigarette. I say
Twelve francs and get my shawl. It does not look like me.
© Carol Ann Duffy | Oxford University Press | 2001
Lad! Remember that no man ought to forgeta child’s tender youth is like tempering of waxapt to receive form – discipline before affectionmix threats with a fair look, manner with wit. A potter fashions his lay when it’s softa sparrow taught to come when younghot iron by a hammer’s stroke begets formand keeps it forever […]
4 It was the stuff of a satire, were it not painfully true. Nnenne sat silently on a black-spotted Ankara patterned sofa surrounded by chattering friends and coworkers. She and a handful of friends at Lolo’s urging – her childhood friend and workmate, had gathered at her residence to celebrate a hard-fought promotion greeted with […]
© Ugo Nkwoala |Spilledwoords.org | 2020