Early Art

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It was the sort that came without instruction,
just time alone, a pencil, and a scrap
torn from a marled composition notebook.
Nights, beneath a pleated yellow lamp,
I drew my crude approximations of
the female form: two buoyant flips of hair,
enormous breasts miraculously clinging
to a meager stick of torso leading—where?
A hulking Gray’s Anatomy resolved
that mystery, then opened up another.

Now, as I read beside my sleeping wife,
I think of ill-lit nights spent drawing pictures
of everything I thought that I could guess.
She starts, as in a dream of sudden steps,
then pulls the sheet to cover a bare shoulder.
I hold still, watching as she settles back
into whatever temporary world
she’s left unfinished, and might finish yet.