Leveler Poetry Journal
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feeling unobservant around a woman

                         (while viewing Picasso’s portrait of Dora Maar, 1937)


[Feeling unobservant around a woman]

      I’m attempting to approach her

      [a pebble is thrown

        through a mirror]

  but [her face splinters


into sections like daggers] I’m perplexed

by the reflections. Her hair is

[flung back] combed free of entanglements [two rivers diverted by stones

        beneath the surface] revealing an ear

     pinned to her head [a tear drop

    wriggling on a hook].


What’s the protocol, [she does not

    remove her hat (looks like a prow of a ship

    {is it a bloom, but now

   out of season} in blood red)

   in greeting] should I address her?


It’s only then, I notice [her hands

  and handkerchief (white

blades of a blender)

held up to (eyes vandalized, {anemones

ladled out

of native seas} tipped over in lemon

cups and tablespoons) her face]

she’s weeping.

Jonathan Wallin