Mary Ann Honaker

 

SHE’LL FALL IN LOVE

It will happen like this: one day,
she’ll fall in love with a painting.
The painting will be moods of blue,
aches of purple, fingers of green,
enclosed in horizontal lines as if asleep,

reclining with a sound of idling engine.
It will be diazepam to her shoulders,
no-frizz to her wily curls, it will
sleeken and felinize her utterly.

The painting will hum from her wall
hymning the contained, colors tamed,
melding line by line in arch degrees,
a domesticated sunset.

The price is high but she will pay it.
Who wouldn’t page to have each rage
encased, each lust purpled over,
each worry line ironed in blue,

but the new green is captive, too,
spilling nowhere, hemmed and hewed
on either side.  Colors slimmed out
into quietness, tucked into bed.

There’s never anywhere to go.
She hums to herself under the hues,
in their neat little square, her life
constrained by the walls they decorate.

 
 

Glint glyph

 
 

SHE’LL FALL IN LOVE

It will happen like this: one day,
she’ll fall in love with a painting.
The painting will be of a girl
she does not know.  The painter

has expressed a whole wall of them:
girl running fingers through hair,
girl in green light, girl turning
away in a dimness, but in this one

she has her eyes closed.  It is not
her whole body, just her face looking
down, or not looking, her neck, her
hair a flaming wick, a guttering flame.

The painter has loved every curve, every
line of that face, creases of a very full lip,
eyelids and chin.  He knows it.  Here
he has captured a storm inside the girl,

god knows how the woman knows it is there,
since he didn’t paint a single cloud.
But the girl is roiling.  She has the grace
to contain it, she’s a no-make-up girl,

she never shouts, her hair is the hair
god gave her.  Here it’s an ocean gurgling
around a pier, frothing around a point
of rock, seething between the teeth

of a New England shore.  She buys it
because she loves that the painter
looked that long at the girl, kept
looking, saw so far down, so well,

that she was in even his fingers until
his fingers knew how to say her.
What the woman doesn’t realize is that
she wouldn’t recognize this girl

if she saw her, even after years
of her face over the mantle, because
the painter saw the girl but didn’t,
wrote his own storms on her brow.

 
 

Glint glyph

 
 

SHE’LL FALL IN LOVE

It will happen like this: one day,
she’ll fall in love with a painting.
The painting is a man turning on a light.
It’s so retro, he’s not flicking a switch,

he’s pulling on a chain, and inside
the small bean of his head, a man
pulls another chain, and inside
that head the scene repeats again.

If the painter had brushes small enough
it would go on forever, this light seeking,
this seeker thinking of a seeker seeking,
but the painting is black and tan,

with no hint of the color that happens
where light has been found.  The girl likes
that it’s about thinking.  She likes
to look like a girl who thinks,

so she hangs it in the foyer.
Beyond this point reside those
who think, who think thoughts of lights,
who are reflective enough to think

lights of thoughts of thinking light,
of light thinking, of oneself thinking
of thinking of light.  When she sits
in the cafe behind her thick lenses

over esssss-presso correctly pronounced,
she etches herself so seriously.  She nods
when appropriate.  Inside her mind, the canvas
is blank.  Her terror has no sound, no color.

 
 
 

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