This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Grace Atkinson Three Poems
After David Hockney’s The Seven Stone Weakling

The act of looking is weirdly exposing and the small
straight lines above your head say that you think so too
because you’re looking at those joggers with their ‘jogger bums’
which are heading into a smooth white wall
and which are also heading into a wide endlessness
and as you look at them you are looking at yourself
and the red of the tree is central park in autumn
and the red of the tree is your neck getting hot with your hands
clasped as if you are trying to hide behind
your own body and the line that would indicate the back
of one of the jogger’s legs is missing just beneath the right cheek
as if you have sucked it away with your eyes to keep
forever and I am looking at you with the lines on my head
and watching the blank spaces where the front of your legs should be
how the shade of your trousers exposes your invisible shins        like a light
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