I’ll play the light
and pocket each memory in mourning black
There’s something to be won from a rightful step:
             a consent to match
             and advance upon each other
I’m not asking to be wanted
just to give what I had to give
This will fall back when the move is right
and surrender
when the choice is lost


In response to Ethel Pries' portrait, 'Marcel Duchamp with Pocket Chess Set, New York' 1946.


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.