I want to be a bricklayer;
as opposed to just impression.
I want to learn to draw hands with accuracy.
To show precision in the etch of knuckles,
shaded in darkness.
There was never enough color.
There are so many
ways to look at one thing:
a church is violet against the changing sky,
the horizon set on fire into the back fall.
September sun crests different over
the yellow fields of the east
than the dirt of the city at dawn.
I prefer to paint at night.
I sketch my father twice,
struggling to do justice to the
rashes on the tips of fingers,
but my messages do not form easy.
The images I cross out
are more vital than those kept.
Instead of laying brick,
I layer strokes of finely charred sulfur lemon
removing the bright from the dark.
Pile one on top of the other.
Inspiration turns illusive
after the initial thread is cut,
displayed, set aside.
Too much coffee and wine,
too many sleepless nights,
strung too high.
Obsessed with ideal.
It is no wonder I always staggered home alone.
Unable to abandon canvas and easel
until the obtainment of perfection.
But how many masterpieces can
one man create?
It is only a matter of time
before I slip from the wall.
A chest wound,
in a field of wheat,
like so many I painted.
Surrounded by something
“Bricklayer” is previously published in Catching Calliope Vol 2, 2014.