All right, now I have to ask you to lift your arm up again.
—Okay.… How much longer?
It won’t be as long this time.
—It can’t be.
Lift your hand back up, please. Thanks…
Please stand up and get back in the position.
—I can’t, man.
I’m paying you to do a job.
—I quit. You don’t need to pay me no more.
“No more”! If you quit now, all this time is wasted. Who’s going to pay me?
—I guess I could give you some of the money back.
I don’t want the fucking money back! I want you to pose!
—Don’t matter what you want, man. I can’t no more…. You try it. You could never have done this on your best day.
That’s right, and no one would have wanted my fat self even then. And you’ll never be a sculptor. Now please get up so I don’t have to talk to your father.
—He don’t know I’m doing this. He’d be ashamed.
So that’s how it is? And I suppose he doesn’t know what you’re spending the money on, either?
—Think you’re so fucking smart.
I was young too, once, my boy. What’s her name?
—It’s not a girl. It’s my friends… we shoot dice…
Whatever. Though I must say you’d be better off with a girl… or maybe not, come to think of it.
Never mind. Just be careful about your friends if any of them win too much.
—I just lose too much.
Be careful about that, too.… Has it been long enough?
—I can stand up…. Want me to clean where I sat on your nice pedestal?
The slave will take care of it. Just get back into the pose.
—Ah, shit! How’s this?
Arm a little higher, please. Excellent. I’m going as fast as I can.
Gerald Friedman grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and now teaches physics at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico. He has published a little in physics and more in poetry in various journals.
The Ekphrastic Review
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