I first painted her sitting by the river
With nothing but her long hair
Draping her back
The slight curve of innocent opulence,
Her narrow waist inadvertently made..
I soaked my soul in the colors I used
And my eyes moistened as my brush
Covered the canvas like an effortless dancer..
But she left, abruptly, gathering her clothes
In my resolve to forget her,
I whitewashed my canvas for my next painting
Painted a flower girl, who wilted in the summer
Then I painted a seductress over her,
I liked myself for what people began to think I was,
A lonely traveler with an eye for beauty
And I liked how I made them wonder
If I would whitewash their bodies too..
Sometimes, after a seeking sunset
When there is a lot of dust between me
And the uncertain horizon, I can see myself
Retracing her curves again, from beneath
All those layers, of color and whitewash.
Embittered and embattled, with nothing
To look forward to and nothing to go back for..
I can only confess to the sunsets,
That I should have used a new canvas..
Then, perhaps, I would have been able to know
If I really am a good painter,
Or if I can just draw her well...