Thoughts of the Mona Lisa from Inside Vincenzo Perugia’s Closet
He didn’t steal a fur coat or the Crown Jewels or an exotic dog, he stole you, the Mona Lisa. You were not stolen by Picasso, or by a fine art restorer, you were stolen by a janitor called Vincenzo Perugia. You were not a tart or the Virgin Mary, you were the half-smiling face of the wife of a silk maker. He didn’t steal you with his charm and he didn’t steal you with his talent, he ripped you from your glass case, stuck you underneath his wool coat and walked with you out of the museum at night. It wasn’t scary and it wasn’t romantic, it was depressing and dull. He was not a pleasant man or an evil man, he was a goalkeeper and pasta pomodoro lover who believed that Italy was your rightful home. He didn’t take you because of love and he didn’t take you because of your beauty, he took you because he believed he was a hero. He wasn’t loving toward you and he wasn’t angry, he was a man who let you know that you weren’t all that pretty to him because you had no eyebrows. He didn’t tell you that you’d be safe with him and he didn’t tell you that he'd destroy you, he said that you were lucky, at your age, to still be wanted.
Read Meg's story from a Whistler painting.
Read Meg's story from a Renoir painting.
Meg Pokrass is the author of eight flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of prose poetry, two novellas-in-flash, an award winning collection of prose poetry, and a 2020 collection of microfiction, "Spinning to Mars" which won the Blue Light Book Award. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Washington Square Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Split Lip and McSweeney'shas been anthologized in New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2018 and 2019. She serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction 2020 and Festival Curator of Flash Fiction Festival U.K. and teaches flash fiction online and in person. Find out more at megpokrass.com.
The Ekphrastic Review
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