The Painting Left Behind

By John Grey

What is she doing here? The statuesque nude,

at the window, caressed by sun. Not blistered,

not lacerated. But free and smooth as the dunes.

As the salt-tang echo of the pillowed sea.


Painted in hope by some bearded fool with more brushes

than sense. An accidental triumph because beauty

has a way with meager talent. Artist be damned. The model

dignifies herself with such a patient, proud virginity.


She’s vertical while loneliness is horizontal.

She poses for all desires, every absurdity,

the welling up between my footprint and my eyes,

the bloodless coup of my most gentle hormones.


Won’t you come out from your wood frame.

The air is warm and without gossip, without sin.

Waves drop such a light and feathery whisper on the beach.

And that’s all that will be said about you.




Australian born poet, works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Poem, Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become” with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon.

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