Model in the Artist's Studio, 1928
This model is zaftig, even hefty by today’s standards,
fleshy thighs, round belly, ample curves. Bottom
heavy as a ripe pear. But she is bien dans sa peau,
doesn’t go to Weight Watchers, had a café crème
this morning, broke her croissant into small pieces,
dabbed it with confiture d’abricot, little bits
of sun. She took pleasure in the moment.
So when Dufy posed her, arms behind
her head, solid hips jutting right, there she
was, delectable as an oyster, ready to be
consumed. And here we are in our imperfect
flesh, the dimpled arms, the parts that jiggle,
the great softening, as we succumb to gravity,
our last lover. So let’s raise our arms above
our heads, let the world see the pudding bowl
our bellies have become. These hips have carried
babies, these thighs have walked many miles. This
is it; it’s not going to get any better. So let’s stand
in the cool light of this blue room naked as the day
we were born. Let’s tip our breasts to the sun,
and love our unairbrushed surgically unaltered
exquisite bodies for what they are:
the houses that we live in.
This poem was first published in Barbara Crooker's book, Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017).
Barbara Crooker is the author of eight books of poetry; Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017) is the most recent. Her work has appeared in many anthologies, including The Poetry of Presence and Nasty Women: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, and she has received a number of awards, including the WB Yeats Society of New York Award, the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, and three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. Her website is www.barbaracrooker.com
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