Of Picasso and DaVinci


in the pinnacle of mid-life crisis,

I took a wrong turn and came across

a roomful of broken mirrors that mocked 

me with subtle persuasion - the Women of Algiers -

posing nude to distort the image of me

to me as blind as nipples hardening at your touch, 

a tribute series of perturbing proportions: lines


beneath my eyes gathering the darkness, eyeliner

smudged in black-brown streaks like fallen stars, 

sadness dappled under tear-stained lashes, out 

of the corner of my eyes the crows' feet 

tread heavily, the smile lines around my mouth

stiffening with each mask stitched into it,

a Mona Lisa hidden in enigmatic shadows


so that I am both blind and mute, a surviving 

painting artistically reworked to be 

photographed but never admired, leaving 

no trace of the ineffable tender touch 

of my master, a copy of profound genius, 

an expression of both pleasure and pain 

so intense that even those bare-breasted 

women with judgmental eyes and wide feet

- shaking my mortal dust off with rejection - 

admit that there is something more 

mournful than humanity in my sheltered gaze


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