Valentine’s Courtesans

She was never an Olympia –
as daubed by Manet – pure
as marble & egg white/ Her
stripped shots [varied fresh
lies] refined by Photoshop’s
smears & smudges [across
normalities] Mme Meurent
& her [a courtesan] Ms Tess
[her selfish self – no Venus]
let pounds of flesh & hours
be tolerated at higher rates
to buyers of fucks & artists
too / She sells her sexuality
& feelings in blurring layers
A relief she never did Freud
because his art was honest
I never drew her naked – no
there were too many others
taking her poor idea of self
She kneeled – as if in prayer
before dealt men & women
Manet raises her left hand –
unblocking his subtler clues

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