At the Louvre, Guggenheim or Getty,
the assignment's sit, rest your feet
at a wide, attended wall, a riddled
work by Degas or David, Delacroix...
Liberty, say, Leading the People. Now,
you see a cowboy toting pistols,
now the armed dandy who holds on
to his top hat in the middle of battle,
occasionally Liberty herself, with flag
and rifle and bayonet, breasts so
buoyant they're really what she's waving.
An ochre city's as distant and ideal
as Oz, almost its own oil. Details,
masked by traffic, seem complete,
as focus, forced, catechizes the eye
to limb and landscape. In this exercise,
you will draw from Delacroix whatever life,
liberty, breasts or death the crowd allows.