Girl before a Mirror
Pablo Picasso, Girl before a Mirror, 1932
She could not measure one moment against
another, this child-mistress of the immeasurable.
Perhaps, she knew even less of who she was
when she had first seen what she would look
like in the eye of the immoral immortal or in
the honest, unsophisticated reflection. In her life
outside the glass, she is serene and haloed white,
the purity of the unholy. As young girls scrutinize
themselves in mirrors, they see wrinkles and lines,
the evidence of mortality, which they paint from
the world. But this girl, too young to think
so morbidly, sees instead her night self, her
courtesan self, and she is a timeline divided.
Her face, split by lavender, as she is vulnerable,
attracted to life’s beauty, and the yellow of the sun,
the reflector of light, now rouged, her green
eye shadow a confession of her unrehearsed
womanhood. She is her own witness, seeing
through herself with hollow eyes, without the eye
of God, and to what end? She reaches to calm
her soul, to reconcile her two selves as God
reconciles the sinner to Himself. Is there solace
in knowing that the next mistress is weeping?
Le Rêve (The Dream)
Pablo Picasso, Le Rêve, 1932
The mistress in repose discovering her
disposability reaches for, but will
not find, youth’s promise of immortality.
Life suckled by life. Two years, two hands desperate
to feel again. Oh, but she is a mother
as if that welcomes objectification.
Her thin crescent eye closed, though her mind sees
the phallus upon her face, her red lipstick
painting the shaft of the painter, painting;
the flesh feels what was once a part of her,
the seed of which implanted a part of her,
but which now will only serve to mock her.
She is exposed but is supposedly
dreaming, yet she has never been so awake.
Woman in Hat and Fur Collar
Pablo Picasso, Woman in Hat and Fur Collar, 1937
Two years removed from being a mistress,
she watches the world as it watches her,
but she has the benefit of angles
with both frontal view and a profile merging.
Her tears are eternal, though here they are
internal. She has hidden them as she hid
her affair all these years. She has wept for
herself, but did she ever weep for the wife?
He has given her a child and a fur
and, though this she cannot yet see, he has
provided for her life everlasting.
She wanted him and, though he does not want her,
he has her, forever, so she has been had.
He has captured her sensuality,
but she understands it has been two long years.
© Thomas Locicero
Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, The Good Men Project, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Jazz Cigarette, Quail Bell Magazine, Antarctica Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Hobart, Ponder Review, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal, Indigo Lit, Saw Palm, Fine Lines, New Thoreau Quarterly, Birmingham Arts Journal, Clockwise Cat, Snapdragon, VerseWrights, and felan, among other journals. He resides in Broken Arrow, OK.