Ann Gerard, Cuir de Nacre
She sits in still life against the perfect morning sunlight and smiles at her reflection. Her silk robe slips down one shoulder and parts above her knees where her thighs spread against the lambskin upholstery. She moves with a grace that is acquired over time or belongs exclusively to ballerinas. Like a forgotten scene from Edgar Degas’ days in New Orleans, she is motion captured in a moment and bathed in light. She chooses from among her beloved little vials and compacts, dabbing the sides of her eyes to turn back time a little. She pins part of her hair into place and brushes long strands over her bare shoulder. She mists the backs of her knees and neck and sits back to inhale. Dust plays in the sun streams overhead. A rose petal drops from the bouquet in the windowsill.