Assembled, Interfered, Rebuilt

Carving; each day more marble gone to make the statue. Cohen is patient, diluvial. Time will carry her through, find eyelids in cold stone, eyebrows, arch of cheek, curve of buttock. She is happy to hold the hammer poised for hours at a time, arms corded like bridge cables, eyes searching the grain of the stone, discovering, inventing, plotting, chisel swiveling now this way, now that.

When she comes across the first leg, she is delighted. How shapely the ankle is! How smooth the knee! Her hands, thick with callus, run across the cool surface of the thigh, higher and lower, higher and lower. The second leg is less beautiful; the third, less beautiful still. Each leg is a little thinner, a little hairier, a little less human. She cries, now, and her arm sags. What is she uncovering? What abysses of personality has she squirreled away in the rock?

But each day she works, and each day the marble shrugs itself a little more fully into form. The face, above that impossible tangle of thigh, is seraphic; radiant with message. When she strikes the last blow with her hammer, she finds the lips are parted slightly. She leans forward and places her ear against them, runs her hands again over each thigh in turn, feels them flexing toward revelation.