La Grande Odalisque

Written by: Jack Jordan

	The anatomist’s delight, 
	or his dilemma? 
	Yes, she is...

	how could she be less than perfect? 
	Surely Ingres didn’t get it wrong 
	when he painted her nude flesh 
	so voluptuous as to be tactile, 
	reclining oh so languid 
	on her left side, 
	alone in this exotic 
	blue velvet draped room, 
	looking directly at me 
	over her right shoulder,
	betraying nothing
	of her inner dialogue.
	She’s aware of my presence; 
	how could it be otherwise? 
	Surely she must feel the heat
	of my rapt voyeur’s stare 
	on her sinuous, sensuous back. 
	Which brings me to the issue of anatomy, 
	the facts of her body.
	According to anatomists
	who’ve given long hours
	to the study of her bones,
	hidden though they may be,
	she’s spectacularly deformed.
	You see, her head is too small, 
	her neck too long, 
	her arms aren’t the same length
	(the left is shorter than the right), 
	she has five extra lumbar vertebrae 
	that twist her spine 
	into an impossible relationship with her pelvis,
	thereby rotating her lower body 
	so as to enhance her porcelain sexuality.
	Speaking strictly for myself in this matter,
	I couldn’t care less about the facts.
	I’m delighted that art trumped science,
	that reality can be elongated, rotated, 
	and manipulated to achieve perfection.,_La_Grande_Odalisque,_1814.jpg