Belle Haleine: Eau de Voilette
By Evelyn Araluen
Drain the bottle to drink her scent
named in a play of florals
Where different bodies dance in distance
in rose glass haze
Take the picture of we as mirror
when us slips the veil between essence
where mist learns your blood to linger
Wear this gaze this mirage
In response to Man Ray's 'Belle Haleine: Eau de Voilette (Beautiful Breath: Veil Water)' 1921, purchased upon the occasion of the 100th birthday of Marcel Duchamp in 1987.
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.