Portrait of Dora Maar

Stephanie Duke // Contributor
Anais Bayle // Illustration

weeping woman.

one chapter in her book
with volumes before and after
years of work and perfecting craft 
now resigned to being “a muse”
behind every great man is a woman
his voice expressing your essence
his mark on paper
his more valuable than yours
shadows so long, no choice but to stand in them
as a sketch, or a painting, 
some one dimensional thing.

how many times did he make you 
weep before he decided 
it was worth the ink to remember?
your image sold for a hundred million dollars
hanging around galleries, waiting for recognition
painted women.
enough nudes for vito acconci to lay 
on a floor for three weeks, eight hours a day
and all he did was talk dirty and masturbate.

ask a man who his favourite female artist is
and he laughs.
partly to fill the silence that says
he couldn’t even think of one.

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