Peach Silk Full Skirt, Pleated

Adrienne Raphel

Museum in which every painting is Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, room after room, gallery upon gallery, some hung higher, this one larger, this one stretched vertical, here in a baroque gilt frame, here Rococo, here Rococo, Rococo. The walls of this room cranberry red, the next room cranberry red as well. Some rooms crowded with headphones and gray plastic boxes, some nearly empty. A backless knobbed black leather bench, off-center, a little too far away and low. The insolent fleshy peach-like bread at the front of the woman’s thigh at hip level again, lighted pale blue-violet cloth under the overturned picnic basket billowing dishabille. I move through the museum and the museum moves around me. How many does it take to change your life?

In the gift shop, all the post cards of Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Crossword, every answer. A bunch of cherries on a bed of sculpted leaves, a sideways wicker basket with peaches suspended in perpetual spilling out. Steps ahead, a gray trousered leg, tailcoat wing; wooden boat prow a few feet back, anchored in a sculpted piece of water, oars at rest by real trees when I realize: I am in a sculpture garden version of Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Flash of fleshy flank, nude thigh arched to knee, softly muscled calf, elbow angled symmetrically off, profile of breast, two-eyed face.

Aquarium, dimly lit cool enclosed hallway, either side lined with rectangular tanks, tableaux, surprisingly vivid greens and pinks and this one languidly reclining, that arched forward, rounded back, fleshy shank.

What is the difference between pixilation and decay? Plasma display. The screensaver is sometimes many Déjeuners at once, orbiting around nothing in little blocky rectangles, and sometimes it zooms in and in on one: the woman in the background center, Grecian dress, high resolution, every translucent transparent. Dissolute fade into close-up of the dangling black tassel on the hat, spiral to beigey pink cravat, dissolve to the center man’s white wingtip collar and her nearly ninety-degree folded wrist; sunhat like a single cymbal, one fat round high F tolling. Fleshy rolls, two stray cherries, jigsaw leg-foot-knee-leg-hand-vertical arm through the center...

Shake out of screensaver and the desktop, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, nude’s left foot and two eyes faced directly in a convex screen.