Leaning into the Afternoons


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She lies as if dropped from the sky
just across the room,
sheets discarded to the waist,
eyes closed, mouth slightly open, asleep.

Sweeping curves
which cut across the surface of the bed
suggest the passage of life at high speed.
Her milky skin represents the road,
the brown the landscape,
the blue the sky.

Her dream is a tempestuous blend
of primary colors and furious brushwork.
Her eyelids are a rapid veil
through which abstract forms
derived from organic shapes such as flowers,
milkweed, and cocoons can be vaguely discerned.
I sense there is something hidden
beyond the knotted brow of the hill.

Her dreams are measured in wingspan,
powerful and graceful,
expressing the idea of soaring freedom,
yet they are also a perpetual handicap
confining her in the veering gallery space of this low-slung world.

She is an exercise in perfect but seemingly impossible balance.

The room is full of signs of human presence,
the wine glass,
the other with icewater crafting layers of condensation,
toppled shoes,
forgotten paints and canvases,
decorations instead of Modelo.
She has created this atmosphere
with focus and grace.

And so I ask myself why it is impossible not to look at her.

She is a monochrome in shades of gray,
a preliminary drawing in full size
executed entirely with a brush and usually in a wash.
And this gradual visibility of underlayers with the passage of time,
this bleeding through:
her skin is canvas,
her heart beats outstretched in gilded brocades,
her hands are filled with colors,
her blood is wet paint,
her eyes moving light,
her mouth sleepy music.

She wonders how much I pay attention,
how much I understand,
and this is the story of how I became a nightwatchman.