Les Demoiselles d’Avignon


March 5, 2013 by The Citron Review

by Stephen Gibson


Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
~the women speak

Viewed from any angle, who would regard us
as loving, kind, gentle, caring, generous

to a fault, while wanting to strip sheets from a bed—
and continuing—even as the fondling has started

and we know he wants to enter us from behind
because we are stripping the bed, because men find

the idea of immediate access to any woman
the chief turn-on, which, of course, makes them children?

Take us, the five sisters in Pablo’s painting. The damask
pattern of cubism’s multiple angles seen at once

is smokescreen. Behind theory is armpit musk,
our raised arms, asses, pussies men want to pounce

on. As artist, he understood no woman escapes
this. Who notices in the foreground he has painted grapes?


Stephen Gibson is the author of four poetry collections, Paradise (Miller Williams prize finalist, University of Arkansas Press, 2011), Frescoes (Lost Horse Press prize, 2009), Masaccio’s Expulsion (MARGIE/Intuit House prize, 2006), and Rorschach Art (Red Hen, 2001). A short story collection, The Persistence of Memory, is forthcoming from Stephen F. Austin State University Press. New poems also appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Hudson Review, Notre Dame Review and The Southern Review.


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