Naked Woman, Her Repose

 

A quiet, doleful state between two
stages of sleep. Pooling skin

purple and yellow, mottled.
And okay (really) with her elephantine

dominion on the settee in the middle
of the room. Tell her what is troubling you.

Please, go on. We are harvest, she says.
People, as animals, interest me.

The mirror image of her face reads
portrait, inhales its comfort with parameters.

Even in January, we remember summer heat,
slow movements. Skin. Deep breaths.

Curled beside the dog-animal, a snout
resting in hand, ribs shuddering, a whiff

of newly installed carpet warmed
by afternoon sun. Not “no clothes”—

rather the expanse of eyes on her and through.
She continues with what she’s saying.

The light on her hair emanating misdirection
in the mirror. She says, We have space our own.

She says this so that you might gaze, shifting
your weight back and forth, tilting your head,

and think, Those aren’t really her eyes—
that’s just paint.
How is it then I know
                                               what she is thinking?

 
 
—Emily Wolahan