Tainting Her

Balthus Where Is Ariadne
Balthus, Les beaux jours (Golden Days), 1944-45, Oil on canvas

Like Balthus, he paints
a female model
in a chair.
Dabs of sickly green
define her. The air
around her ocher.

Such small hands,
he tells her.
He’s fifty, with
no pubic hair.

Work full of
prepubescent labial folds.

Be my little girl,
he whispers.

She is twenty.
Healthy and rosy.
No, she says.
You won’t take
my soul.
Gets up from

his chair, leaves
him there.

–Sharon Olinka


Poetry

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Poetry

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