When Leonardo painted me
he knew he'd backed a winner.
This smile was his, not mine,
somehow it got transferred,
as if the corners of my mouth
and eyes and all expressive bits
were his, reflected in the paint.
And well might he be smiling,
he'd made the market his all right,
him with his chiaroscuro,
dark and light, paint modulated,
making me sophisticated,
sculpted. Then his sly sfumato:
forms meld to ambiguity.
The influence of opposites!
The power of imprecision!
His clients couldn't get enough -
and yet he gave as much to that
old misty landscape at my back
as ever he put into me!
That's why my eyes have followed him,
that's why I wear this rueful grin.