Reasons for Magritte’s Sheets

1.  Strip is what you ask of them, and you laugh

     as I tell you that the painting’s a nude.

2.  An exercise in disguise, The Lovers

     used to be orphans playing hide-and-go-seek.

     Here they are now, not knowing the difference.

3.  From what we know of “concealment”: It is

     a noun used often for facts or weapons.

4.  Witness a new form of species evolve.

     The female’s bare arm is tanned and turning

     sheltered. She grows her own curtains for skin.

     She grows her own skin for the two of them.

5.  Young RenĂ© once saw his mother’s dress draped

     over her face, her corpse rained with river.

6.  Maybe they’re just bad at this.

7.  There is no embrace here, only the placement

     of heads in museums, intent on collecting dust.

8.  We wanted an instance where all things held.

9.  This is one way of dying: masking breaths.

     This is, in fact, every way of dying.

10.  He paints a series of these and calls two

       Les Amants. The landscape, the kiss—he makes

       sure no pair lies beneath the same cloth.

11.  You look at them and tell me, Ghosts. I am

       starting to shape a sense of recurrence.

12.  Questions have been asked of the fabric. Some

       say barrier, others bind. The lovers don’t hear them

       under their veils. They’ve lost the end of this

       new war, their lips caught in reckless tugging.

13.  His shrouds are a common motif. But men

       in hats and coats are more common.

14.  Maybe they like the taste of textile better.

15.  In his words: “It does not mean anything

       because mystery means nothing either.”

16.  None of us were meant to see what was cursory.

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