• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07


What surface wears bare Mona face,
this Lisa prim, primitive grace –
wide orbit for mascara eyes
and almond shape of nutty paste?
Is this an ancient, classic screen,
papyrus rush or cardboard cream,
a misty brushstroke incomplete
or rusted by patina time?
Twin tufts, a hint of gorget bead,
dun, olive smudges, blotches tan,
complexion of the paint not skin,
apparent taint, shines flesh within.
Her sight controls from first account,
above flat zygomatic arch,
despite the chin drip, fuchsia mouth,
highlighted skin on cartilage.
So are we Greek, of Carthage root,
or Roman, hair-crown smoky blue?
No, Aztec, Quetzalcoatl queen?
What does it matter? Portrait sheen.