My son and I play chess
every morning during his custody visits.
We’re willing to sacrifice our queens, putting
them aside for the duration of the exchange.
Sometimes I let him win, sometimes he wins.
We hunch over, contemplating next moves.
[He’s never glued my pieces to the board.]
It’s a magnetic set, a masterclass of overcoming
boredom. He’s always white. Goes first. One day
we’ll play without consent order on the outskirts of Paris.


In response to Marcel Duchamp's 'The Chess Game' 1910.

See the artwork that inspired this poem in the flesh, along with more than 100 of Marcel Duchamp’s world-renowned pieces in ‘
The Essential Duchamp’ exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 27 April – 11 August 2019.