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.