Poet of the Week: Mary Moore Easter

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The Activist You Don’t See

What you don’t see in the photo of me
standing beside Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
is my brown naked body
limbs bent to match the pale profusion of angles
elbows, knees, cheekbones, breasts
my squat stripped in front of the crowd
on my mission to diversify the history of art
in a world that thinks it is white.

What you see is a sweatered tourist, prim
coward despite tufts and spikes of African hair
among lank blondes
who outnumber me in every room.

In front of Rousseau’s jungle I’d make The Dream real,
recline, spine to the viewer and, from the spiky grass,
face my conversant on her couch
white shadow dreaming herself
into my green world of snake and song.

Step out of these platforms
doff purse and pants
sport a slit worthy of any Fontana
a thatch to shame the shaved beauties of the Renaissance
bleed color and pulse out of their basement anthropology
into this High Art haven.

Mary Moore Easter’s Poet Tour Profile