Tim Keane

Celestial Pantomime
after Pierre Molinier

faceless twin-gartered sisters are lethal subjects, conscripts
in the order of a gelatin print—

obedient actresses, they contort
& cluster—vie on a lean-to, blanket
the silver chair by enfolding
their mechanical tangle into a self-
mirrored ‘have-me’ dance —

the artist’s atelier is an engine room
of obscene experiment: a precious veil
speckle the pale, steam-fit shoulders
and chic gossamer shrouds their contortions:
their stockings’ seams aggravate desires
and measure heights only the master will scale

in kinky exposure is final embarrassment
and we will be neither offal nor gods
but temporary spectacles, like these twin sisters,
living after-effects of someone else’s passions
born only to be anonymously absorbed in a gathering penumbra.

Tim Keane's fiction, poetry and translations of French poetry have appeared recently in Evergreen Review, Drunken Boat, Denver Quarterly, Mudlark, Crannog (Ireland), CV 2 (Canada) and many other magazines. He teaches writing and modern literature at Borough of Manhattan Community College in lower Manhattan.
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