So they named you Mona Lisa,
as the song goes,
blather on about your smile.
It’s the sfumato, stupid!
like in that dusky bedroom where, they say,
Salai “the little unclean one” swept
cobwebs from the eyes of old Leo,
whose enlarged pupils caught every nuanced
pass of his oily stroke.
And it’s what you witnessed
those years after hours when candlelight
you, glowing sallow against that rich-hued view,
on an easel in the corner
like a screen-saver flashing some
watched as the King’s painter stripped his
kitschy tunic in shadows
more inscrutable than those through
which the runes of your embroideries send
their cryptic missive through
Were you thinking
of that drawing by anonymous of penises-with-
legs pursuing Salai’s ass?