Photograph of Pablo Picasso I saw in a Museum

Photograph of Pablo Picasso I saw in a Museum

In Capek’s now-forgotten play, the creator of all
life whispers these final words:

Go Adam, Go Eve. The world is yours.

And so too does Picasso in this photograph, reclining
with slippers half-ellipsed, a row of his paintings all
staring back at him, the Master, the Teacher.

There is a cacophony of paint all masked in a veil
of grey and ivory(the photo is black-and-white after all).
In the corner a single lamp in remission.

Picasso is dead now, but the boxy faces that stare at him do not know,
will never know. But what they do know, will forever know
is why he smiles so coyly there in this photograph
taken a year or two before his death.
What is he smiling for?

I tap on the glass that protects the photograph,
hoping that something will shake loose,
that the photograph will divulge its secrets,
but instead, a tap on my own shoulder; it is the museum guard
asking me to move on.