by Christopher Stein


I paint my life impasto
all too eager
to find myself lost in lavender chasms
gripping the edge of turquoise hillocks

someday far away
distant as the glint of the blast
on the next horizon

a man with an expressionist’s heart
will ease me off a stretcher
under a microscope
read the cracks in my face
the wrinkles on my folded hands

tell me when I first bloomed
spread me in an X-ray field
to map my underpainting
the flat-handed truth that makes me glow

he will perhaps
chip away at the surface of my character
my teeth falling away with the indignity of age

build me back up with horsehair brushes
and the scrape of the pallet knife
try to leave my soul unburdened undisturbed

I will not be quite the same
again the laugh the mouth open always
he will sew my teeth back to my gums

but the words coming out of my mouth
who can say what they are or were

perhaps I paint my life a bit too impasto too impatient
I wait for you to let me know

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