May 02, 2016

Short Talk on the Mona Lisa

by Anne Carson

Every day he poured his question into her, as
you pour water from one vessel into another,
and it poured back. Don’t tell me he was paint-
ing his mother, lust, et cetera. There is a mo-
ment when the water is not in one vessel nor in
the other–what a thirst it was, and he sup-
posed that when the canvas became completely
empty he would stop. But women are strong.
She knew vessels, she knew water, she knew
mortal thirst.