The Photograph by Carjat
In the photograph by Carjat,
I wear vertical stripes.
You see me in the false warm snow
of time, though I am young, gloved, plumed.
What do the words do, by themselves,
without the images? I remember figures I broke,
the ones I made and sold
or put in boxes.
In the photograph by César,
I raise my chin. Because he told me to,
spotting my weakness. You can see me
hating him and loving him at once,
telling him no by telling him yes,
telling him yes by telling him no.
I wear a lace collar, a ribbon in my hair.
My lips are red. Gray, to you.
Kathleen Kirk is the author of five poetry chapbooks, most recently Interior Sculpture: poems in the voice of Camille Claudel (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012), with a sixth, The ABCs of Women’s Work, forthcoming from Red Bird in 2015. Her work appears in many journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Poetry East, Redheaded Stepchild, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. The poems featured here were commissioned by Columbus Dance Theatre for the world premier of Claudel, a dance, theatre, and music collaboration. Kathleen blogs at her accidental blog, Wait! I Have a Blog?! http://kathleenkirkpoetry.blogspot.com/
Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks forthcoming in April. She is an assistant poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.