Nike of Samothrace
—Her fish scales, her chains, the woman’s headless
wings and blown
tunic of Parian marble. —The wet-see-thru
camisole. By sea she’s
arrived, lighting on the ship’s prow. One leg
thrust forward, the draped sails
of robes. (Somewhere near, between defeat and prayer, a drive-by
shooting. —The candy thrown around the body, the ambulance. They stole
the dead girl’s dog, while far away outside Jakarta
in sweatshops some work for 20 cents an hour, and there’s
one with his mouth taped shut in sunlight.) From a sanctuary
she was unearthed and taken to the Louvre
where on the grand Daru staircase she stands, stolen, moving
in several directions at once.
Copyright © 2022 by Mark Irwin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 8, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.