by Brian Salmons


after Fernand Léger, “Big Julie” (1945)

Big Julie waits
for me to say

The thing is
it is unexpected:
her flower held,

somehow her color,
how she rests
how she is a leopard

on her bike,
how her hair
comb beacons

She waits easily,




after Frans Masereel, “Matrosenabschied” (1921)

Side by side,
Awkwardly holding your hand
And gawked at,
But ready for everything together.
Larger than life.
That’s how I remembered us
On the embankment.
Not face to face before the city.
Not like this.


Editors note: To view Fernand Leger’s work, including Big Julie, please see the MoMA website. Read more about Frans Masereel on his Wikipedia page.

Photo above by Kostiantyn Stupak from Pexels