“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people. …But the air one sees in the paintings of the masters is not the air one breathes.” Edgar Degas
you will not vanish
you will not be pale forever,
or cast violet shadows throughout your life.
Your story takes me outside,
above the wind,
pieces of sun scatter behind
a flat planet.
It’s their talk that hurts…
conditions, powdered skin
with bare arms, secret breath
and music from within.
A dark voice with no throat,
rapid movement slipping away,
like my eyes;
another in the wings—
always someone waiting.
I am the eyelash, the brush…
living, then dying in place.
I know nothing of sound,
only echo, only void and
I know when to stop looking.
I am shadow
dancing for Plato, little girls
and soft faces. I hope for you,
but no one else. This is my room
growing dark, bending loneliness.
I carve from memory.
I no longer paint birds that fly.
My dance is not as good as advertised,
so I leave the door open,
hit my face as your skirt vanishes into dawn.
It’s better than you think,
twirling, waiting—expecting support
in the crook of an elbow.
to follow with clean fingernails.
It’s good-bye. It’s long days with nothing left to copy.
It’s everybody waiting.
Then it starts, continuing like a seed bursting
from anger, heavy clouds burnt inside both eyes.
I am saying, my hand moving
as if a fly has made a subtle noise from heaven…
why have you danced so long,
stayed fresh in such a darkened frame?
Ah! So that’s the trick—
tell the truth—as it is,
but from above the source
where no one can reach you.
spin until someone else takes over.
I know, it isn’t nice to hear,
but you are a shadow on the wall,
merely available, yet so real—
an enlightened path about to wind itself
into a few words, then flower
like milkweed invading heaven.
© 2010 Tovli Simiryan