Robert Gibbons


The risk of admiring at a distance,
when the distance is death.
Flesh left as negative,
or photographic print,
the body revenant from walls
in the house in Providence.

Francesca Woodman, her limbs
antipodal behind a line of hanging fox furs
obscuring her sex, recalls
Gauguin's sumptuous image of a canine paw
consoling the naked female
dreaming in his The Loss of Virginity.

But at first,
I mistook the furs for scratches
like those E.J. Bellocq made on his turn-of-the-century photographs
to conceal the identities
of the women in brothels
of the Storyville section of New Orleans.

Eluding every intrusive gaze, her genius,
a gauze, protected her.
Then the gods
desired her.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Publications: The American Journal of Print, Conspire, The Drunken Boat, Evergreen Review, Frank, In Posse Review, Janus Head, The Literary Review, Recursive Angel, Small Spiral Notebook, Stirring, etc.
Chapbooks: Ardors, Lover, Is Exile?, Of DC, This Vanishing Architecture, Brief History of Erotic Gesture

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