He didn’t know who he was, he was too young,
but he liked white walls and seeing things in front of them,
and most of all he just liked to see.
He liked the wider awareness brought about by extra gazing
as it clarified and cast a light on a deeper reality.
There are many colors in white:
there’s a catoptric surface, a plum-scented wind, wild ducks chime in….
He could never find the bottom.
As the touch perfectly hollows the place where it lands,
his wonder made everything blossom.
His paintings were substantial hard-fought battles,
taking up too much time, removed.
“I paint, I look, I erase,”
he gasped, identifying his facture.
“I didn’t do this to become a crusader.”
He liked when things that were normally never still paused:
a bird, a dog, an unplayed guitar.
When the bird looked up, it saw its short life:
a small gaze to a gold puff tethered.
When the dog looked up, it saw its intelligence,
and wanted to strike out—which it would never.
When the guitar was leaned against the wall, its haptic seduction grew,
calling to the player who stroked his chin with haptic pleasure.
Childhood had been a game, the birds flying by,
searching for a castle to call home;
making faces fish-like, goat-like
at the limits of what was accepted or what was known;
a minstrel with a poem always in his hand,
and an independence that left him trembling,
chasing maidens on dirt roads to swimming holes,
dusted skirts and wind-blown hair by wind-blown grains yellowing.
He was pale from the moon, from staying up until the curtains turned orange,
watching sunlight pirouette down upon the vespertilian skyline of the city.
He marveled as, with the noise of hammers, people began to stir,
making the world flower again with their activity.
His espiègle fellows tried to bring him out on the town.
They put figs in his mouth.
“A life well-lived needs to be celebrated!” they exclaimed.
But they left him alone when he insisted, “I’m working this summer.”
People sympathize with someone trying to live their own way.
July was a lizard, asleep in the heat.
The colors dried on his hands.
He wore them like jewelry.
When he felt lost, he stood very still.
Sometimes he’d stare at his impassioned reflection,
wondering, “What can I say about me?”
PABLO CAPRA is a poet and publisher of Brass Tacks Press.