Your heart quickens every time you catch that first glimpse, melts with wonder and joy as you gaze longer until you are burning with fierce adoring need. Painted and polished, on display for the gaze of the discerning connoisseur and the idle glance disinterested passer-by both; she presents the same face to all and provokes in you a hot desperate need for exclusivity, access to the soul behind the smile, to explore the uncharted territory of mind and heart beneath the smoothed-over surface.
There are no fingers deft enough to pick her locks, impervious to light touch or sly nudge she stays locked away behind a shield of transparency. What you see is what you get, says her open face; here on my sleeve is my heart, look no further. You know there is more, and better beneath.
You refuse to haggle, for doing so would cheapen your trophy. Reason and rationale have no place here; this is no courtroom or boardroom for bloodless executive thrust-and-parry. Art is visceral, experiential and so with a twist and a growl, clutching hands pierced with shards of need, you claim your prize in an smash-and-grab warrior’s raid.
As you carry off your bounty, you note that her enigmatic smile for once holds genuine warmth.
Having acquired your treasure, you set to work ruining its purity with graffiti-splatterings of your come, spoiling its elegant lines with a welt here, a bruise there, all the while admiring your handiwork as your subject’s calm perfection disintegrates into sweat and mess, wild-haired, wide-eyed slobbering need. Cast down from the plinth and sprawled despoiled across your stained and tangled sheets, here is your artistry panting and grovelling before you.
Your raise your hand again, every slap stokes the furnace in her eyes, palm-prints bloom as brightly on her flesh as the flush of desire in her cheeks. With your hot sticky salt-spray drying in her hair, her lips bruised and limbs spread wide, she is more luminescent than any spotlight could make her; with marks of degradation and depravity her only adornment you see at last what you were searching for.
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder