LIFE CLASS PAINTING
(Inspired by Goya’s La Maja Desnuda, Oil, 1799-1800.)
I ask them to take the model, hold her up by candle light
like a white rose with a pink blush
a Sufi image in bloom, of the lover and his beloved.
Caress across each mound and valley, kiss every hollow
of her navel, highlight all contours of her skin.
I want them strolling across the garden of secrets by star light
like a heaving lover, his heart pulsing moonlight
Before Goya’s La Maja desnuda, Tiziano’s Venus of Urbino.
But all they want to do is frame elegance beside flowers
pile beauty on beauty with plumb lines, model likeness
Like the face of some mannequin behind dirty glass
on a vacant street by the Left Bank
cluttered in plastic, flowers pointing this way and that.