Dora Maar


“I wasn’t Picasso’s mistress; he was just my master.”
—Dora Maar

How then to discern the rightplace
in between successive wives
for once not just another conquest but
an accomplice
the only paramour
who could match him in mind
and temperament
loved enough
to envision herself someday
inside staid museums
hanging by a thread,whole chapters
devoted to their life together
in psychoanalytic biographies.

He left her to wander
in their Parisian apartmentalone
surrounded by images of her own
tortured face,weeping Magdalenes,
a framed mirror on each wall,
only her books open behind closed shutters.

But what insight into that face!
cracking itto spill outher howling striations
portrait twisted
into immodest revelations.
Did she prove muse-worthy
because suffering was so close
to her surfaces, or was it the painter
of genius

prophetic to the point where he foresaw
lost lover, refugee from aborted friendship
anticipated the profundity of
her sorrow
fragmented aquamarine self-effacement
untilat lasthis memoryof her
caught up with the pictures,
watered by years and tears of salt and birds,
carved eddies through viscous paint—
the consequence of cruel breaking
her canvas finally