Life With Picasso – by Greg Zeck

After Françoise Gilot[1]

At first it was total
devotion. I was twenty,
he sixty. I admired his
genius, of course, who
didn’t? I adored him,
kept house, talked art
with him day and night.
He liked my hair short,
my tomboy looks, knocked
me up twice, resented
domesticity. I realized
it could not go on like this,
he was tiring of me daily,
chasing other skirts,
and only when one day
I sat there crying and
crying, all day long,
did he find me once
more interesting.
Your face is grave
today, he said. No,
sad, I said. I find it
stimulating, he said,
as he drew me, turned
just so, against my will,
in charcoal. Stimulating.
That was that.

[1] Gilot was Picasso’s second wife. The poem is based on her book Life with Picasso (1964).

Greg ZeckGreg Zeck has published fiction and poetry in such magazines as Ambit, Bogg, Caesura, and the Spoon River Quarterly. In 2012, he retired from teaching in Minnesota and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he reads, writes, hikes, bikes, and gardens. He’s published two books of poetry, Transitions and Lost & Found: Poems Found All Around, both available on Amazon.