I didn’t know whether I was a muse
Or a model, I only knew I was the reclining man
And you, were the stroke-maker. You stroked
Your elbow with a musical bow, only to flow back up
Your elbows were like strings on a weaving machine
Going and to and fro, muling together
The pieces of honey brown rusty skin
Golden at places and patchwork groves on others
She took her time, and I like a naked child
Going out of an open door, could feel ice crystals
On my flat bottom and the snowy wind was
Caressing the small under-growths on the chest
And I looked at her, her eyes like Aurora borealis
Perhaps even more erotic when you consider
She only had something stringed together on her back
Perfect symmetry elaborating her sugar loaves
And I could see her nakedness, flicker against
The scented candle on the table and the brush head swiveling
Like a wandering butterfly, not knowing which color
Hid the sweetest nectar. And my wife made love
On the canvas, and I could see the hemp rustle
In soft spasms, a little whisper creeping through
The cleft under the cloth. It was as if the canvas was
Calling her name, louder than I could ever scream.
And I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to be the canvas
On which all her colors would make a rainbow appear
As if she had rained on me all night and I was soaked
As an umbrella under the monsoon. And she reclined
And I sank like a broken hull, floating a little. Dyspnea stood by me
Until ecstasy exiled me, as I looked at the painting before me.
I could see brown in all his splendor. Like Demerara sugar
Had caremalized on the tip of the brush and she had
Smudged sweet caramel all over my bronze. I was the ugliest man
I knew, but seeing myself on canvas was a beautiful epiphany.
I finally saw her vision lying naked on canvas. A trompe l’oeil
As slender as the rusty bristles that painted her.
And I knew she loved me – all of me. And her love was a male nude.
Too naked to be ever clothed by illusion.