THE MODEL AND HER ARTIST
after “Woman Combing Her Hair,”
charcoal by Edgar Degas
Naked but for bold red slippers –
she sits combing her long dark hair.
She could be one of the ballerinas
Limbs akimbo –
her right leg forms a figure four,
ankle resting on her left knee.
Her right hand holds the comb,
elbow elevated, her left grasps
a hank of hair.
Not as if posing for a portrait –
more as if aware
a lover watches her.
Attention is a form of love –
studying curve and line,
the way she moves.
He wants to show his efforts
in capturing the just so of her.
First strokes remain visible.
In smudged depth – her arm a pillow,
her shape a shadow on the bed,
and the echo of the up-down/back-and-forth
in the pas de deux of combing.