I am drum tight. Every beat, every stroke, every breath smarts.

I am pathetic with grief.

I am translucent oval seed pods left when your petals fell away.

I’m brittle with it.

“Paint!” they say. “You’re an artist, use your emotion!”

They imagine me hurling it at a wall in a delicious rage. Slashes of black and red, all hell and exquisite beauty (that they’re desperate to claim they inspired me to) but I’m not that artist. If they ever really looked at my paintings they’d know that and anyway all I see is you.

I try to summon you as a She Devil but it’s cartoonish. I search out the photo: the promise that became the lie hidden in the drawer. You were red wine drunk, eyeliner rubbed to ashes, iris’ blazing. “I’ll do it.” you said. But you were too – I wanted you. And so.

I didn’t paint you before or after but I could paint you now. I could paint you asleep in my bed, bathed in Sunday morning sunlight.

You always woke up first.


If you liked this read:
My brother
The Lollypop Man

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