Like Woman-Ochre, 1955
cut from her frame
just another hostage
left to hang laundry
left back of the bedroom door.
Her hair swept up
her throat slashed with shadow
her thighs bloodied.
Those brutal hands reaching for her.
De Kooning, her first ransomer,
then passed among them.
Even the museum questions her.
After more than 30 years, we are not so sure.
Is she armed? Was she always winged & masked?
Is that a metal cod piece,
a raised sword,
the red between her ample thighs, a cape?
Ann Dernier is Managing Editor at Kore Press. Her collection, In the Fury (Grey Book Press 2015), was short-listed for the Robert Dana Poetry Prize at Anhinga Press and the Crab Orchard Series First Book Award in Poetry. You can read her poems inBurningword Literary Journal, Poppy Road Review, Autumnal: A Collection of Elegies, Threepenny Review, Weaving the Terrain Anthology: Dos Gatos Press, SWWIM.org, Rumble Fish Quarterly and elsewhere. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. More at anndernier.com.
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