Museum Piece

Poem By Frank Fagan

Ham-handed Henry had his way with her,
as they say, in more ways than one.
Considerate of him to shield her white
skin in here, out of the sun. Bodily
perfection gleams in stone, as if
the flesh inhabited the bone. The face
is sensuous; the gaze, transfixed.

Praxiteles must have been a murderer
like this — couldn’t look at a beautiful
woman but had to have her for his own.

Too bad for some young man, desperately
bereft of art, whose sense of art
is a sun-tanned woman sprawled
upon a beach...

But it takes an artist to fully
appreciate, to capture — no — depict
those languid sinuosities of movement,
take all the risk; to put her on a pedestal
where she belongs, starkly alone, under
a suitably fluorescent ceiling, out
of the sun...

And to sunder life from love
with such artful, passionate
indifference as this?

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Other poems of FAGAN

Contra Commas

Bent
spent
down-
cast

Riverside

I got your message from I know not where
but there was trouble on my phone. I heard
just this: breakfast…tugboat…lemon…click,
followed by a static hiss. (I, too, am, at my best,

Inching Into Madness, His Old Wife Still Sees Certain Things With Perfect Clarity

He's dull as dribble; when he speaks,
he reeks; his hair is falling out
in clumps. He's swag-bellied and sway-
backed. His rig hangs upside

Dementia

Her madness was mere notion then.
From behind our papier-mâché masks

we watched impassive as it grew.

Take It From Horace

Take it from Horace,
who long ago warned us
not to paint a dolphin in a forest,
nor a wild boar disporting on a wave.

Fellow Travelers

A mouth like the gorge
of Echo
led a wandering sky-blue
eye