Susan Cohen: “Anthropometry”


Guggenheim, Bilbao

You and I have traveled here again:

older couple side-by-side at the altar

of art. This time, not Picasso’s

fractured female faces arranged

into ugliness, but Yves Klein’s abstract

swathes of blue, Anthropometries.

He’d plunge a model naked into paint

and drag her across the canvas, his living brush.

I look for any preserved geography of flesh,

some mark of curve or crevice, nipple-prick,

trace left by her dripping pubic wedge of hair.

I see only: His whim. His will. Her willingness.

We are a woman and a man, our heads bent

to the same work of understanding the world.

Still, I have no idea what you are seeing.

Susan Cohen’s second full-length collection, A Different Wakeful Animal, won the David Martinson-Meadowhawk Prize from Red Dragonfly Press and was a runner-up for the Philip Levine Prize. Her poems recently appeared or are forthcoming in the Atlanta Review 25th Anniversary Anthology, Canary, JuxtaProse, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.

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