She’s always been heavy handed, my mother,

when she lays the paint on her water-based canvas.

It’s not that she is a glutton for beauty

(though a case could certainly be made for her hunger)


but simply that she loves the way the hues blur

and fade and run when she sprays them with water.


With every spritz she sheds off a year until she’s a girl

with skinned knees and curls, gasping at fireworks


that appear on the page as the violets fade to lilacs

and wed with the muted yellows that once were a gold.


I thought about this today in the shower when I turned on the tap

and the room bled away in a puddle of colors,


a blanket of steam muddling every mirror and shutting me in

to the immediacy of a place in which you can’t see your face


and I thought of you too, dear reader, and of the soft-edged

impression of your continual presence that lives in my words,


blurring the harsh lines into gentler hues

and obscuring the things that should live in the dark.

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