Galatea (A Riff) - Poem by David McLansky
What perfection in eye and cheek,
She shifts her body, I cannot speak,
Her back's soft light of muscled bone
That I would frame in marble stone;
What arrogance in handheld tool
That I could take what's learned in school
And reproduce her subtle beauty
Oh Pygmalion, you fail in duty.
With grace she moves to part the curtain,
In dusky light she stands uncertain
To check the time she has to pose,
What innocence denied of clothes.
Oh Artist here stands your Art
With breathing lips, a beating heart,
She turns to me, head over shoulder,
Complains to me, the room's grown colder.
I take an iron and stoke the coals,
How burns the furnace of my soul,
Oh I would warm her in my arms,
Would violation arouse alarm?
But she resumes her model perch,
Her innocence I would not besmirch,
But I am poor and ill-equipped
To carve the ivory of her hip.
Her perfection stalls my hand
It overcomes my code as man,
I kneel before her radiant beauty
And as an artist forget my duty
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