American Muse: X. J. Kennedy

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“Nude Descending a Staircase”

Toe after toe, a snowing flesh,
a gold of lemon, root and rind,
she sifts in sunlight down the stairs
with nothing on. Nor on her mind.

We spy beneath the banister
a constant thresh of thigh on thigh;
her lips imprint the swinging air
that parts to let her parts go by.

One-woman waterfall, she wears
her slow descent like a long cape
and pausing on the final stair,
collects her motions into shape.

Below – Marcel Duchamp: “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.”
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