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This poem is taken from PN Review 139, Volume 27 Number 5, May - June 2001.

Poems in Response to Paintings by Paula Modersohn Becker Sujata Bhatt

Self-Portrait as Aubade

The gaze in the mirror:
straightforward yet unconscious -
the self-assessment is open to the bone,
open to the soul -

Will the quest begin now?

Outside it is Berlin,
        it is 1897 -
the colours of a cold spring morning -

Will the quest begin now?

You are all-knowing but innocent.
Not smiling, not coy, not sad -
And your face: moonstone white -
blue-grey shadows make you
        almost marble, almost -
if it weren't for the wash of tan, the tinge
of beige beneath the white:
        colours of blanched almonds -
...


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