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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Puberty

I have to wonder how you knew
Edvard Munch.
I try to imagine myself three or six
years ago, at Your Age,
sitting naked before him
for hours. Did your mother
know about this?
Who brought an old man
into your bedroom?
Who took off your shirt,
your skirt,
your long white stockings?
Who arranged your lank dark hair
just so, behind your shoulders,
leaning across you to make sure
that it stayed? Who placed
your hands between your legs,
rested your palms so softly
on your skin
your arms left straight, still -- stiff?
Aren't you afraid
to move? Aren't you afraid
of shifting, of smiling, or of
whoever's shadow lingers
on your bedroom wall? And
aren't you cold? I heard
it was cold in Norway -- I can imagine
your skin, shivering, numb
everywhere, except where the warmth
of a hand rests on your thigh ---


Written to Edvard Munch's "Puberty"

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