He brushed her curves –
she was soft at the edges,
and he tousled
voluminous, titian hair
with master strokes,
yet a thirst slurped the water jar
and her face would vanish.
He could hardly bear to paint her,
but he did, despite lapsed
time dotted like small flecks of acrylic
on a palette stained with red wine;
interludes of rage and darkness
and heartache’s brittle impasto
would smear the bleak canvas
where her porcelain face should radiate.
A sigh fell over the blue wash of the Rhone
while he watched memories escape
with the wine – he loved her
to the edge, and he would paint it.