So crucial the model in life drawing class—
we take turns when he oversleeps
and doesn’t show. Me, my turn
on the platform, sinking deeper into my sweater and jeans.I close my eyes to fend off
their eyes. Just so and forever, those
gleaming marble figures at the British Museum,
they look through blanks, time
wearing off color the Greeks
put there and there. What colors? Dreadful ones,
the nametag told us briskly, you know,
Any words that come to me. And the mouth,
a line of ash on their paper.
—Marianne Boruch (Tippecanoe County)
This poem originally appeared in the American Poetry Review 41.1 (January / February 2012). Marianne Boruch is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon, 2011). She is currently on a Fulbright, writing and teaching at the University of Edinburgh.