Kennedy-Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912)
Oil on canvas, 58 inches x 35 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection.

Nude Descending a Staircase

X. J. Kennedy

Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down the stairs
With nothing on. Nor on her mind.

We spy beneath the banister
A constant thresh of thigh on thigh--
Her lips imprint the swinging air
That parts to let her parts go by.

One-woman waterall, she wears
Her slow descent like a long cape
And pausing, on the final stair
Collects her motions into shape.