The Storm, by Nancy Iannucci

1880_Pierre_Auguste_Cot_-_The_Storm (1)

Pierre Augustus Cot, The Storm (1880)

The Storm
by Nancy Iannucci

We kept walking one
warm Wednesday morning,
woefully walking,
conversing, traversing
away from the city of Toulouse-
distance was a shield from prying eyes,
eyes and mouths attached to crowds
who longed to separate us.

We reached our favored
meeting place under
a canopy of draping trees
miles from the road.
Side by side we sat
like primitive cave dwellers
who lacked civilized restraint.

I’m the shepherd, but she tends me,
maneuvers my soul into a swell
of honorable indecency;
I’m a doltish man under her touch
as our thighs gently grazed then pulsed.

She came
to agree to leave France
with me
after weeks of furtive
meetings.

I brushed the sweat
from her golden hair-
Euphoric-
under wafts
of her sweet
lavender scent.

She took the horn from my side
and impishly blew a farewell tune
to Toulouse;
dark clouds instantaneously
rolled in like the French army.

“We should leave now!” I said
draping her yellow cloak
over our heads as if to
parachute away to the gods.

Our thighs pulsed once more;
my shepherd instincts dominated
as I tended my luscious lamb towards safety;
airily secure under her alabaster slip,
my hand steered below her left breast.

And so we loped
not from The Storm
but from this cruel city–
together.

Process notes: I was captivated by Pierre-Auguste Cot’s paintings many years ago while sitting through my first art history course in college. There was no turning back from that point on. Each painting evokes a powerful feeling of romance, mystery, and enchantment. I want to live in his paintings.

Nancy Iannucci is a historian who teaches history and lives poetry in Troy, NY. She has always been entranced by the mysticism of life and the fine line that exists between our world and the mystical. She feels, at times, like she inhabits some place in the middle and express herself through writing trying to reconcile her own existence in between these two realms; her work has been published by Performance Poets Association, Three Line Poetry, and Faerie Magazine (photography).

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