We need beauty, because there is so much ugly. Roberta Green Ahmanson

Ellyn Maybe & Pablo Picasso


by Ellyn Maybe

I found a year that likes my body
girl sitting on a rock
Picasso painted a woman
with my thighs

walking around the museum
it hit me how Rubenesque
is not just some word
for someone who likes corned beef

there I was
naked on the edge of something
overlooking water
or was it salt

it was weird
nobody was screaming fat chick at the frame
nobody was making grieving sounds
but the girl in the painting looked sad

as though she knew 
new ears were smudging 
a forced liposuction
with rough acrylic

the caption said
girl sitting on rock

not woman who uses food to help cope
for the lack of empathy in her sphere

not the gyms are closed and there are
better muscles to develop

not girl one calorie away
from suicide

just flesh on a rock

her eyes dripping
question marks onto 
girl looking into a mirror

the vibrancy
the need to chew the ice cubism 
till the teeth bleed
the colors so deep
they look wet

the museum guards
watch me tentatively
I lean into the painting
I veer to the outside
to find out what Picasso
called each work

I like titles
their vocabulary of oil
the girl on the rock
whispered to me

go girl

I love museums
call me old fashioned
but I like face to face


Pablo PicassoNude Seated on a Rock1921.

Pablo Picasso: Girl Before a Mirror, 1932.

Poem reprinted in Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice with permission of Manic D Press.