Copy of Auguste Rodin Nude, c. 1900–1908

She stood naked in a picture, bent, her hand touching her knees.
The arch of her curve under the light of ink pencilled curiously how she might be thinking.
Instead of a face there was a black smudge like a mass of black hair
as though even she didn’t know who she was.

I drew her in my notebook while they talked about me:
‘takes a piece of you, puts it in his book without asking.’
I knew he was joking, but it was true. I did it to her. I drew the curve of her arse
over the lines of my notebook. The bend of her right leg as though taking a step.

‘A montage of reality,’ he said. The bend of her foot;
what was she doing? Some people bend for all sorts of reasons:
to have sex, to be sick, to cry, to fall apart. When people bend
you can’t tell if they’re sick or in love. Though it’s true it feels the same.

Michael Holloway