Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa


I was first in line to gaze at you in a crowd,

and then I read your life story and gazed at you anew,

and finally saw you as a real woman,

yet not of this world.

It isn’t that strange really,

you married at 15 to an older cloth merchant,

and gave birth to six children (two you lost),

yet those are details.

Your face, your eyes

hold a clairvoyant ether,

like a moon expelling her dharma.

That mysterious smile,

a biologic drift seeking interpretation

from a haze that doesn’t obscure the view,

but makes it palpable.


You are an opera without music,

that holds a stain of smiles centuries old.

Would champagne spill from your fragrant mouth?

Articulation and pleasure to follow?

Or are you modeled on the cadavers of Davinci

A yawp of slender neck and jowl

as he systematically carved every curve of you perfectly?

Caught in an unchanging instant.

a silhouette sex,

a woman from the center of the universe

who just wants to left alone.


I see you holding wings in your smile

your surface a shy demurring;

thoughts dividing underneath

that try to hide themselves

but glow in private.

A mystery even to yourself.


I see plentitude and patience,

and a fierce conundrum of the soul

in the tempest that was Florence

of wars, and more wars

and lingering animosity

that doesn’t touch you.

You, an intricate ambiguity,

as life roils on

around your feet.


Finally I see you

reinvent yourself with flair,

hear your cadence as a prayer.

A slow fade,

a breathing wind

of gateless air.

The custody of knowing

you are never going anywhere,

not in this life,

or on the other side.


RM July 2019

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