Paul Violi

Irresistible Prose


Feeling very lazy in your absence

I’m not surprised by how easily

A picture of you undressing

Appears when I lightly

As lightly as brushstrokes

Erase the punctuation

From a sentence in which

All the fascination of women in repose

The languor the idleness the abandonment

The mutual leanings on one another

The outstretched limbs the indolence

The harmony of attitudes

The delightful air of a profile bowed over a lute

Studying the notes of some gamme d’amour

The breasts’ receding elusive contours

The meanderings the undulations

The pliancies of a woman’s body

The play of slender fingers upon the handle of a fan

The indiscretion of high heels peeping below the skirt

The chance felicities of demeanour

The coquetry of gesture the manoeuvring of shoulders

And all that erudition that mime of grace

Which the women of the preceding century

Acquired from their mirrors

All this with its particular intensity of tone

Its special luster lives on in Watteau