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Nude Descending a Staircase This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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1
Splintered gold-struck and timbering body,
Light-shredded, aching of wooden shadowing,
Legs twined amongst themselves
As the cascading veil postpones and realizes,
Each itself and the other,
Each a past, a present and a future, tangled
Within the skinless,
Each separate and apart, yet One and whole.

2
Bare, shattered by the golden sunless gas-light,
Slow-descending and curving a wallow step,
A winding stair infinite,
Building, spinning through space and time,
None but the repeated
Shoulder, naked to a torn complexity, to wander
All labyrinths, to descend the plain orb horizontal,
None but the soulless body to perpetrate.

3
Thus the motion of the immobile, the ongoing wheels
Of never-ending progress running dead,
A movement paused, broken,
Stealthy and suspended at the end of the immeasurable stair,
Divided and frayed, a descending virgin
Snow-tampered, pure and nude, delicate and frail,
The graceful dance of beauty,
Captured forever waiting still and gone yet.





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