The Aging Queen at her Vanity

Portrait of Woman in Dermine by Picasso

Portrait of Woman in d’hermine pass (Olga)
Pablo Picasso, 1923

Replete in too much dignity, upright

upon a pearl-pocked chair, the queen reviews

herself–a head of colors, red in speckles,

rosy taffeta in creases spread

in webs along her nose. Two crevices

commence their digging,

trench encamped about the mouth.

Blanch the trenches!

Wipe the speckled head with white!

Slip in to a Sleeping Beauty sopor

and dream of princes promising

a yeasty conflagration when she rises.

They’ll dig along the lines of former laughter,

moans, a velvet doughy knowledge of her body,

but she can’t return her flown reflection

of her virgin self.


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