The Hole in her Cheek
  portrait of Françoise Gilot
 

was black, as if a worm had bored there

a beauty mark

a mole

a flourish

the final paintbrush dab

before he stepped back

his work complete

he never made another portrait of her

without his garnish


he’d burned a cigarette into her face

in a fight

the “male gaze” we called this

and stood in front of her

battered and sizzling, saying art

art



Jane Eaton HamiltonJane Eaton Hamilton is the disabled, genderqueer author of 9 books, and the two-time winner of both the CBC and Prism fiction awards. Jane's poetry appears on NationalPoetryMonth.ca.