Elaine Feeney – In Montmartre with Degas


Who owns these hips                                these awful saucer over-lacquered eyes
and abandoned pink-jellyfish-on-the-rock lips             this harsh-one-layer-mono
does nothing for my double chin                                  but you already know that

I’m no ballet dancer    my delusions a smelting loss|love            me ever on parole
but that mendacious muff and wiggle-butt is way off                                  stuff it
down your tight pants                  I note though, how a citrine sun makes me smile

and I softly come at midnight          once in a while on Beaujolais
and someone’s hard hands to roll up my                           dried tiny tobacco leaves
leaves a yellow-after to stain to my teeth                       your fingers crunch-roll it

like when I was much younger and could pivot like a dancer
but you never believe that story            even though I’ve told you a thousand times
like this stinking oily fish on the zaffre and white enamel dish is rotting in the sun

behind the Louvre doors I lie nude on the furs and wax coats
stinking of musk and man and dead and fowl and what
is past and to come is only the rapid                                           shortening of breaths

and more certain of my last escape as I am left on your canvas     wobbly and full
and whole     I keep thinking I should walk out                                  or walk back