Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Seated Nude

georges braque: milwaukee art museum collection

Seated Nude
. . . . . .after Georges Braque, Seated Nude

by Mary Jo Balistreri

She bathes in the sun’s early glow,
that moment of splayed color
when magenta, yellow and violet spill
over the hills and brush her nude body
with pastel fingers.

In this first movement of spectral light,
she sits on the edge of an armless chair
and reaches a hand to her hair. Soon
she will turn, surprise her voyeur
and even herself. Easy in her skin, she bends
her back to the shadowed green shade,
sighs and relaxes her stomach. And yet,

her hair is not soft like the landscape, but bleeds
into the chair. Hard and bold, the fusion cuts
through the scene, does not try to belong.
She bends her arm at the elbow, angles
it like the back of the chair. She’s no longer
round and soft like the background.
She leans forward to added dimension,
swivels toward different views, desires
to be known by more than one perspective.

Although she allows this portrait of transition,
allows Braque to hold her one last time,
she demands her release, shifts her complexity
to greet the new century of angles, cubes and facets,
her curved past slowly fading behind her.

~ first published in the newsletter of the Milwaukee Art Museum