Picasso Self-Portrait, 1943
There is a short story
by that Russian master Gogol
about a nose that goes missing
and how its patron comes to reclaim it,
a rollicking account in which the lost nose is a metaphor
for pompousness and sycophantism.
I am drawn to noses.
They are the first body part
that I check out when I meet a person.
I know this sounds presumptuous.
Why should I feel that a nose
reveals a person for what he or she is or wants to be?
I claim no innocence in this propos.
I like strong noses,
the ones you feel you can ski off.
That they might be out of proportion
raises no flags with me:
a nose is a nose is a nose.
That said, I would not like to have three,
nor even two,
however enamoured I am,
of this protrusion in a face’s middle.
But give me a strong one any day
even if it disarms, dislegs or disears me.
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