Woman Descending the Staircase by Amy King


The visible leg is mirrors,
the material ego reflected in tiers
of a year, the legend of the artist
in fishnet nylons taking herself down.

On complete occasions: coal smudges
run rivers into grey copies of her face
imprinted on paper plates
so that we eat from her eyes, lick her lips
to sluice the dregs. Later,

Float the stairs and there, become.
On a pedestal and then some.

My interest is no longer an immediate afterlife.
My interest is no longer immediate.
Christmas lights surround,
which is cleaner than what’s next.

I thought you said the scales fell from, but
I hadn’t even been a preposition;
Xmas has that effect on anyone.

Thus the corseted waist drawn on by masters
is off at the ball. My interest
is now in the person
who paints us in swaths of Gerhard Richter,
a real echo, the song of postmortem.




Amy King‘s I Want to Make You Safe was published by Litmus Press, 2011. She is also the author of Slaves to do These Things, I’m the Man Who Loves You and Antidotes for an Alibi, all from Blazevox Books, as well as The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press) and Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country (Dusie Press). King serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.