Portrait with Cracked Paint
Where canvas slackens
and stretches here
are the ears and eyes.
out of craquelure skin
and her head is a glazed bowl.
tipping her memory out.
There are tangles riveling
in her brain
shrinking it, blistering the colors
peeling the layers away.
It’s for your own good her son said.
Don’t talk to me about good.
When I say I want to drive, I mean drive fast.
It wasn’t me who put the keys in the sugar bowl
or the license in the freezer, and I don’t care
how rough the roads are or how hard it is to focus
on double yellow lines. Paint them over the way I do
when I imagine my life the way it once was —
long before you insisted on coming into it
despite the herbs, those pills, that hanger.
She cracks an egg over a skillet
and a bird flies up. Its feathers are dark
as the keys in the sugar bowl
the wallet in the freezer
the tangles in her brain.
What will take her out of the night
and into the blind spot
she mistakes for the sun?
May it gleam the sweet of her smile.
May it flicker its light upon her spine.
May it open wings-wide and beat for her
relentlessly as blood.