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Self Portrait Of The Writer As Claude Cahun: A Poem

By Rowan Carteret

O Claude, O Claude

Elle est, il est-

Oh Claude.

I hold your mask up to my face

And laugh behind motionless lips

I think I should take a leaf from your book

And hide my heart on the rise

of my cheeks, surfing a white wave of bone

Parallel to kiss-curls.

My eyes are all you can see,

Bringing life to a face of plaster

With the same dark humour that lit yours.

I speak prayers into the void and flash of a camera lens,

Dedications tor the shadow that hovers

in the edge of the frame.

I will find her, I swear,

I will hang the mask on a coat hook

And I will make her my life and canvas

And walk the fluid footsteps

You left in the St Brelade sand-

Elle est surréaliste,

Il transcende.

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