after La Fourchette (The Fork) by Andre Kertesz (Hungary), 1928 (Click to view.)
Spotless counter, squeaky-bright
plate. Lean silverware, poised for a serving of
what? Imagine what you like,
gooey chocolate cake besmearing
white chinaware or robust meaty casserole
whose sauce could be sopped up
with day-old bread. The French thrive
on that. One thing’s certain,
the spear appears immaculate.
This is pre-meal,
not post-gargantuan feast.
The utensil’s tabletop shadow suggests
this is no fork but tong
meant to capture the most elusive morsels.
Tines, regulation-straight, yet their mirror image,
wavy along the plate’s rim. Formal
presentation as prelude to elbow workout.
The dark space beneath the rim
could become a haven for
crumbs. My pudgy unmanicured fingers
tingle with want. Oh to reach out,
grasp the sturdy instrument
used Sundays only
for duck cassoulet or beef bourguignon
meant to soften the week’s
vexations. This pointy instrument, immortalizing
love of artifice, a moment extended
in time and mind.
after Chairs - The Medici Fountain, by Andre Kertesz (Hungary) 1926 (Click to view.)
Could anyone relax in such
stiff chairs? Bask in the view
just left of frame? I would
rotate like a sunflower.
Picture-perfect, that would be one
cliché. And, it turns out, a fact.
Kertesz shared in an interview
that he arranged the chairs to
interpret his take on shadows
and light. This idyll is staged
just so, distilled to share
so long as the photo remains.
Had he redirected foot traffic
to the Café du Dôme? Stillness
suggests no one settled in or
strolled by quietly, a form of
listening, along this walkway.
I study the photo for a sense of
stasis to calm my jumping bean
thoughts. Bass clefs deftly
rise and slip through the fence
then land just above the dark
lines stenciled on the sidewalk.
Up the path, I hear tenor clefs.
Kertesz orchestrated this. Listen.
Poems by Margo Davis have appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Amethyst Review, Dead Mule School of Southern Lit, Panoply, and Deep South Magazine. A three-time Pushcart nominee, Margo's chapbook Quicksilver is available at Finishing Line Press. Originally from Louisiana, Margo resides in Houston.
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