that’s not quite right. more
everything. red on green. red on blue tide,
on tender lovers’ necks.
silver hilt of sword looks prettier in paint.
prettier in the moonlight. prettier when it can’t
tear you open. paint sound on color. paint crowds jeering,
fight, fight, fight. we are pawns in the gods’ colosseum. him here,
and him here. this preceded me. this preceded everything.
lumps of clay like people, or people like lumps of clay?
yes and yes. the battle rages on in its stagnancy.
amber tint of fire burning, animate the slosh of wine down
scarred throats. helen in her
fine dresses, watching the world burn. something
beneath the wooden horse and you can’t paint it but you can feel it,
canvas trembles with the weight of many men,
heads tremble with bloodshed. add more scarlet.
we slice each other whole and mourn the parts. you can’t paint souls,
and this is lucky,
because you don’t have enough black
to cover this pain. to cover this mercilessness. cover the men in
sunshine instead. helios watching on and doing nothing.
swirl heavenly light across bodies, and this is not
quite right but what can you do. better to make them heroes.
better to make them pretty. beneath canvas,
dark souls rage on without a sound.
sidenote: this was kind of loosely inspired by richard siken, as he does a lot of poems about painting. so i figured i'd try my own hand at it but give it more of an ancient spin. and... this was the result :)