La Passagère du 54

1 March 2017

You are in love. Yesterday, on the ship
from Le Havre to Lisbon, she walked
on the deck with her husband and child,

her hair a brushstroke of gold. Now,
she is sitting alone. She has been reading,
but the book has slipped from her hand.

She watches the day, that is lifted in the waves,
her clothes the colour of sand. The sea
is black, and the clouds at its edge are black.

Perhaps she will turn, see you sketching.
You will smile, pretend you are elsewhere,
as if she were nothing at all. She will not know

how you shape her, these quick strokes.
There is love in passing. You will love her
forever. Above the ship, the clouds are so close.


Notes:
In response to La Passagère du 54 – Promenade en yacht, 1895
by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. 60.8 cm x 40.2 cm.

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