• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
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The man stands in the glove shop—
leans his long, thin body, fingers
in soft blue suede, against a railing.

He ponders the discarded glove
on the marble table, which is closest
to us, the viewer. The man is an objet

d’art in the painting. Between us exists
a fourth wall, delicate veil between reality
and illusion. Perhaps the man didn’t

exist at all. Maybe there wasn’t even
a model. Perhaps he existed only as firings
in the neurons of the artist’s brain—

a composite of memory. The eyes of some actor,
the golden hair of an exquisite man who studied
Blake and sat across from him in grad school,

the lips of a smiling barista he saw the morning
the painting was due for his art class.
On the wall next to this imaginary man

is a painting. And how do we know what is real,
what has ever existed in a painting within a painting?
Who is that man? Was there a model? Are we even



in a glove shop because Shakespeare’s father was
a glove maker? Are we here because some surnames
denote occupation? Gaunter? Glover?

But what I want to think about is the perspective.
That discarded glove in the foreground. The way
to our eye it is as long as the man’s torso and head

put together because it is the object closest to us.
The way that glove may have felt like slipping
into love itself, then was left the way

we thoughtlessly leave things twisted and alone.
How that feeling—its intensity—makes us feel
like the only thing in the room.