Mary Cassatt's In the Loge

When I allow myself, for a moment,
to reinvent the closure
of her opera gloves into a scar,
very long and ragged white,
the mark of some trouble which faces us –
then I must also craft from folded fan-in-hand
a knife. And furthermore,
to justify such a measure, I must assume
that the watching man, leaning over
the railing to get a better look
at our fair lady, our defensive protagonist,
is looking down the barrel of a gun.

Only after wandering through
the violent potentials of looking too hard
and of wanting too much
do I reluctantly admit:
the only piercing thing
is her little pearl earring, which
catches the light
and directs it back to me.

Amelia Akiko Frank is an artist and arts educator based in Chicago, currently interested in edges and boundaries. She has been published in Sliced Bread Magazine and Grey City.

See more of her work in 10.1

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