Submissive, In Charcoal

Posted by: TGST

Submissive, In Charcoal
originally printed in Product 19, 2004

The professor traces the rising warmth
of my spine with the dull end of his charcoal.
He addresses the artists: Notice the contrast
between the line of her shoulders – here -
and the roundness of her thighs – there. The breath
inside my still-life pose flutters as the collected focus
of a roomful of easels narrows – shoulders, thighs.

I am an unwrapped gift.

A requested change of position takes my knees
from my breasts. I turn my back on the audience
of stuttering pencils to expose
collected satellites of freckles, tattoos, bruises. The artists
play connect the dots from the base of my neck
to the crook of each elbow. I cross my wrists behind my back
as though cold handcuffs kept me in place, a gesture
of servitude. The color of my cheeks grows hotter
and I turn my eyes down.

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