Museum Piece

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?

by Frank Fagan

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