• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 07
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An Exhibit of the Artist’s Work

In a full red dress with long sleeves
in a yellow chair
in the tilted living room
or in a wicker chair
in a lush garden
with large green leaves,
the artist’s wife spent hours at a time
sitting for him.

Her dark hair is always pulled
back and up, with hands clasped
at her severe chin, or in
her serene lap. Sometimes,
she holds a child.
He posed her in similar settings
again and again. And again.

The artist said, "Only I understand
how to paint a red!"
In most of the paintings she has
no expression
other than one eye wider
as if staring ardently
into the artist’s soul.

With my marriage, people often ask me
who left whom? The cliché is: it takes two.
              Sometimes, though
it takes only one
to ruin the union.


An Exhibit of the Artist’s Work

I was the artist—
and felt too free to innovate
              and experiment with color.