Through the double door and on to the lacquered floor –
Dark steps before the switch are all inward sounding,
Thumping four times before the lights flicker on.
Breathing in smooth linseed, and sharp turpentine:
The scent of rendered skin.
Among the drab, the thoughtless colors. Above them all, your portrait hovers,
Waiting, earthy hued, in the easel’s holds.
Trace from dark brown eyes to curls, resting full in matching shades,
Cupped in your collar bones, exposed
And falling to the canvas corners –
Receding to imagination,
Two weeks pass, returning daily to see the progress,
You moved as the tide of my dreams.
And because you painted yourself so well,
Your closed lips would part to smile.
Years gone, I wake and choke,
Gut to heart, heart to throat.
We met and you were taken –
He a better man, a smile of his own.