So many dead
finches. Lightning quick, he remembers,
but not as quick as the stones, and the laughter in
his sonís eyes.
The motherís face turns in profile,
the flash bulbs of her body breaking,
crushed. Or was she only another
passerby, swallowed by the sea?
Daedalus stands, steady,
putting his cares away each night
on his carefully ordered shelf, hearing his young sonís laugh
just like the motherís,
remembering all the small dead bodies
they shook from the dirt
and how the glue
itched his skin
the fun of the escape
how the wind howled as they fled
and he left every care
he had ever known
poetryrepairs #229 16,10:111
Portrait of an Artist
In grade school she won every race
and never faced the boys
who laughed. Embarrassed,
harassed she taped her breasts flat,
didnít want to be a girl,
just wanted to run
and never look back.
Her father alone
in a Palo Alto bar,
her mother at home,
silent in failure with
vodka, tonic, and cigarettes.
Left with her paints
she changed her life
with color, particularly blue.
She painted their new TV blue,
then to her dadís dismay,
painted his new car blue too.
Too blue, too blue,
all the carís mahogany,
Twenty-two, in art school,
her parents divorced,
she set a new course,
left the boyfriend who beat her up
and moved in with me.
Pregnant, she decided life was big,
bigger than her best expectations.
Then every small thing became big.
She painted big, she painted
a giant orange pig,
hung it over our living room couch.
After the baby
she started to drink,
had the affair,
stopped getting out of bed,
painted our living room
After work one evening I found her
sipping, tipsy, sorry
watching bright blue morning glories
close up for the night.
But how I like to think of her
sitting before her canvas
white shirt, face, hands
all covered with paint,
fighting herself to create:
a woman on the beach,
flat white space for a face,
a woman in a wild field of foxtails,
straining to face backwards,
a woman with long tubular arms,
blue business suit, no hands,
a woman, sideways, huge with child,
in a blue bathing suit, trying to stand
without any feet.
poetryrepairs #229 16,10:111
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