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



the manganese face


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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