Small painting

Small painting

 

After months

the hand stalls

unready for a brush

 

for such a small painting,

a napthol red, mars yellow,

burnt umber plane

 

the eyes shut

masked to the coated

surface—surface

 

the manganese face

under

the laminate of

 

wait and touch, the nuisance,

loyalty to

the habit of color,

 

stacking slats of hue

into thing, cooking

a bath of thickened

 

red, slicked cobalt,

gray titanium rose gray, gray arcs and bars across, down, up

 

avoiding corners

for now, seeing how

gray meets

 

another gray and

yellow like snail streaks

on bricks.

 

trust leaks

down the wrist

pulling the glaze

 

onto skin, real skin

of the hand

and nerve

 

the temper of the

tonal shift diminishes

into the weave.

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