Studies for a Crucifixion

                       after Bacon

Oil smeared with dust
to last: lush rage-orange.

Meat splayed on a table. 
The business-suited, rubber-

suited stare elsewhere. 
Black windows gape.

Meat hangs from lucite, 
thick green line touching.

Centered: meat odalisque
on smeared bed. Meat-nothing—

Joan Larkin’s most recent book is My Body: New and Selected Poems (Hanging Loose). Her chapbook Legs Tipped with Small Claws is forthcoming from Argos Books. She is a 2011 recipient of the Shelley Memorial Award and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. “I’m rereading Mae Swenson — her mastery and quirky vision are a never-ending source of pleasure and surprise. As for flowers: a friend whose passion is growing old roses introduced me to Great Maiden’s Blush; when she told me that it’s also called Cuisse de Nymphe, I knelt at the suggestion of delicious thigh, inhaled its heady perfume, and swooned.”