Take my hand, let's plunge into woods, dart between pines like fairy-tale riffraff sprung from a cage Something is lurking, Something sees Is that why the rocks are so rigid and straight? Why else should we stick like words to our page? What if, instead, you let go of my hand and pushed me, ungently, into a lake? What if I laughed instead of getting mad, slime on my head a fish up the leg? Impossible to live like orphans, you say, but it's spring and I'm drunk and I want to be nuts The clock says I've lived but half of this life I want to get wet, be charged with a quest, kiss your hot neck— storm the castle
As if volcanoes were born to make art of the lava You, Francesca, a human person Young. Naked. Even in dresses. Needful as the living dawn.
Young. Dead by the time that I turned five. Francesca Woodman, a suicide a great crawling prostrated obscured in full daylight laughing silently through your lens with a slippery, feral, unnatural intent. Gaze made of marble, Body ether I bet you thought gravity would bend. Baby-girl voice. Varicose ambitions. Your mother, the ceramicist, didn't quite get you, did she But your father, the painter, let go of his canvas chasing you through the halls of your pictures, to be trapped like Escher in the mind of your eye
Francesca — Italia. Woodman — New England. How uncanny your black, how holy your linens But you — you are still the something Other. You ghost. You specter. You witchy shapeshifter. Francesca: Girl eternal. Francesca. 22 years old when the body struck pavement. Francesca. Wallpapered in to the seam of your story. Lacquered. Canonized. Ethereal angel. And so. But then. You got what you wanted. Francesca, Francesca— what a price.