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Tamed

She arrives in my life like Nude Descending a Staircase by Duchamp

And sits on the rattan chair that I've set on milk crates for this drawing session.

Her body folds to the pressure of the chair,

And as my charcoal caresses the way light and shadow touches her figure,

I think of how I have inserted my hands to where her skin doubles over

And wedged our endearment inside like a secret for us two.


I think that I could not even be distracted from this moment by

Pigs flying or cars crashing or the raining of cats and dogs.

I think that I could not even be distracted from this moment by

A more beautiful man or woman, or Girl with a Pearl Earring in flesh.

There is only this woman, who has let me close enough to see

Her pores,

Her leg hairs,

Her nibbled nails,

Her mangled hair,

Her unkempt eyebrows.


I am not here to draw Venus or Aphrodite.

I am here to draw humanity:

What love looks like when it stretches its arms and legs in the mornings beside me

And reaches over with an outstretched hand to hold me before we must begin today.

I am here to draw what it looks like to dance in silence and stare so closely face-to-face

And see the scabs she picked at in the bathroom mirror the night before.


Just as Girl in a Sailor's Blouse would be unassuming,

She is just as tamed,

And all the better my love for it—

The privilege to adore her with honesty.

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