The Woman in Blue

The woman in blue sat uncomfortable, a finger drumming on her lap. Her dress billowed down like a visible wind and the expression in her eyes was restless. As he dipped his brush in the oils, he felt pulled to her like a gardener to the earth.

He saw her as she floated along the lilac bushes, taking the dark stem between thumb and forefinger and lowering them to her nose. He heard her humming Vive La Rose and watched her shadow as it soaked the ground. He noticed how her hair seemed to be night itself and her hands cirrus clouds. Maybe he admired her then.

He dreamt of holding her close and drinking her in, as roots drink. He whispered prayers to her in his sleep. Her pearls dangled like moons in his eyes and her skin beckoned him with a light of its own. Maybe he admired her then.

He had propped her there like a marble statue or a man-made jewel and hoped her bird-wing collarbones could fly, that her jungle thatch eyes could be free.

Maybe he thought he could capture her.

(inspired by this painting:

The Bar Maid

Her legs wisp down like gun smoke, ashy gray in the lowlight.  She reaches up in a sort of salutation, a tray of pints resting on her flat palm. She spins around and overhead, as if doing a stadium wave, until reaching a rowdy table of suit coats with an amber pitcher. Her profile is a silver crescent framed in long shadows and her movements guide the ebb and flow of the bar. When her rounds are over, she stands slightly slumped, head hanging heavy and chin against her apron. She has been held by the mean, sobbed on by the suicidal, caressed by the ballistic. She’s been led by small of her back into smoky corners and used in dark alleyways. She’s learned to hide in the nightlife, her head cocked and tongue ready to burst fire at the slightest touch. All she knows is this strange dance of the bar, her bare legs struggling to hold firm against rock bottom.

Just Stones

You collect stones, the smooth and small ones, the ones that like to be held. You hold them in your palm and let them warm to you. You fill your hand until it appears cobbled and then you walk to where the sea kisses the shore. With your choosiest eye, you pick the flattest stone and cast it into the green waters. It hops on the surface, grows smaller and slower until it finally sinks like a dream after waking. You do this with each stone until you are empty and cold where they once clung. For a moment, you regret parting with them. Each surface cooed its own story. Each smelled of different seas. Each had its own scars. But then you remember, they’re just stones after all.