The Girl Eating Oysters Stewart Florsheim


          after the painting, L’Homme et la femme
          (Pierre Bonnard, 1900)

Because they just made love late in the afternoon
while Marthe was lying on the bed,
legs slightly apart, posing for him,
Bonnard dashes out from under the covers eager
to get back to work, but he is struck by what he sees
in the mirror: Marthe sitting up now,
reluctant to get out of bed, easily distracted
by the cats that just jumped up,
attracted no doubt by the rumpled bedding,
the promise of the warm, moist sheets,
the sour smell of sex. Bonnard looks puzzled
wondering if he can capture the moment
or even if he should: the way Marthe’s torso receives
the afternoon light, her hand reaching out
to the cats that are tentative now, their backs lowered
as they step across the covers, purring.


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