The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Michael Lythgoe
Muse in Red with Yellow Hair
(after Picasso’s The Red Armchair, 1931)
Picasso drew her lips
& eyes with what appears to be
an ink pen. Thin lines. Mistress
& model, the painter shows her
voluptuous curves & red
stripes in the red arm chair.
Round breast beckons, curvilinear.
She hangs at the Art Institute, Chicago.
She is now my muse, too. Nancy.
Older, equally blond, curvaceous,
in a red room. I watch her paint
her own lips, small, ideally
shaped, echo of Picasso.
Red lips lure me to her face,
beneath yellow hair. Her
brown eyes & hoop earrings
bemuse me. Two Chicago women.
Picasso’s muse does not smile.
My muse—Nancy—does, she
moves in a red dress, knit, lace.
She faces me, but also looks
away, double vision. Her profile-
portrait in oils seems ready
to leave; his mistress sees Picasso
off stage. Her lips part. Room dresses
in red hues, Nancy’s red laceon an armchair. Artists obsess.
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