Kristina Andersson Bicher

The Connoisseur ca. 1860–65 Honoré Daumier French

When We Talk About Art, What We’re Saying

is there’s one hot inch between your
shoulder and mine on this tufted crescent gallery
couch. You say gypsum, I counter gesso, and brush

that stray hair from my lip. Yes, the song they’re playing
is Portuguese and we agree, the three large center
paintings are shit. If this were Times Square,

neon green would stripe the hotel bed and our entwined
legs. But here we sit at the Whitney, afloat between
Hoboken and the High Line. Skyscrapers in China

are made with holes for dragons to fly through and nothing’s
propping up this fifth floor but an architect’s dream. Here’s
a game: which one of us is smarter, who rhymes

harder? Artifice, awkwardness, precipice, carapace,
the empty mouth will fill. Oh, we ogled the de Koonings,
flitted past the circus, but see us stand by the river

glass and simmer in late sun. The wall text was insipid:
don’t tell me the artist cut the canvas like a sail or
thickened her pigments with green tea and rust. The wind

of the world wicks through us now, sweeping
our feet toward the door.

Kristina Andersson Bicher is a poet, essayist, and translator living in New York City. Her poems and translations have been published in Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Brooklyn Rail, Harvard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Plume, Denver Quarterly, Narrative, and others. She is author of the poetry collection She-Giant in the Land of Here-We-Go-Again (MadHat Press 2020) and Just Now Alive (2014). Her full-length translation of Swedish poet Marie Lundquist’s I Walk Around Gathering Up My Garden for the Night was published in the fall of 2020 by Bitter Oleander Press. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. 

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Spring 2021