Page-poem FLAT

Line Drawings

Although it is you
the artist does not see you.
the line remains flat,
no more than surface,
a figure without shadow or depth.
Yet it is you;
that is your face
showing the uncertainty, your pose,
and the artist draws something
almost whole and defined
before giving up, before
the map of your bones
is forgotten, before the years
of his training take over.
His lines have their own reasons;
his hand pleasures in itself.

The way thought removes itself
in times of conflict, the line
remembers only line. Intention
disappears. The way she becomes
again, without clothes, a nude,
this woman, breasts tilted upward,
captured here in her attitude
of turning away from all of us
who might have known her,
hand draped over hip
in defiance and invitation,
yet giving up, as if the world
only imagined her, discovered
for the first time her face
and the guilt, the unseeing smile,
each line beginning her loosening shape,
her body spread out,
emptied and available.