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Jen Budenski

© 2005

Women in Art

after Monti’s Veiled Lady

She didn’t want this
display, to be a bride
eternally. She would
much prefer marriage
with its toe nail clippings
and dirty dishes, births/
rashes/diseases, its
rages and silences.

Monday through Friday,
the public stands in awe,
her particular kind
of beauty so distant,
delicate, feminine—
her shy face a promise.
They want to lift the veil;
the artist refuses them.

I want to tell her:
after husband and child,
learning to occupy
your womanly body
in the world, you may crave
the veil—your privacy
this mysterious breath
between their gaze, your face.