Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on. Nor on her mind.
We spy beneath the banister
A constant thresh of thigh on thigh -
Her lips imprint the swinging air
That parts to let her parts go by.
One-woman waterfall, she wears
Her slow descent like a long cape
And pausing, on the final stair
Collects her motions into shape.
X.J. Kennedy (b.1929) won the 1961 Lamont Award for his first book of poetry, Nude Descending a Staircase. The title poem was roughly inspired by the Marcel Duchamp painting but does not attempt to describe the work. A picture of the painting can be found here.
One sad apple
7 years ago