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