by Jeffrey Burghauser (May 2020)
Reclining Man with Sculpture, Lucian Freud, 1960-61
As the moon explains it bright across the flesh,
Tired tribes of feeling fight across the flesh.
My severe attention is the half-opaque
Shadow of a dragon-kite across the flesh.
Even things so soft as early linen gowns
Chafe like powdered dolomite across the flesh.
Open casement. Dogwood shadows on the sill.
Cooling perspiration’s tight across the flesh.
Read your verses, Poet. Salty gooseflesh and
Blushes are the way we write across the flesh.
Come and see how this risqué propriety
Poised upon the Jacobean sward be praised.
Poets lounging in the gothic colonnade
Model how a careful, sultry Lord be praised.
Hair unpinned, the girl withdrew to be adored.
Be the only way you knew to be: adored.
Your petitioners, however desperate,
Thought you too extremely true to be adored.
You must be the mellow, Istrian façade
Heaven’s fluent fingers hue to be adored.
Poet, here’s the fissure in the masonry
Through which lesser songbirds flew to be adored.
Jeffrey Burghauser is a teacher in Columbus, OH. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Leeds. He currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Fearsome Critters, Iceview, Lehrhaus, and New English Review. Jeffrey’s book-length collections are available on Amazon, and his website is www.jeffreyburghauser.com.
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