Poetry: This is all I have so far

This is sort of a meta-poem, a poem about writing. About not being able to finish. This is all I have so far…

I drew you

smooth syllables

grooves in paper

I

shrugging hunched obsessive

shaded your skin

the side of a soft pencil

curving

like a quadratic equation

the hours sloughed away

in discarded newsprint

dark and light

my only tones

in a world of oil

you like gasoline rainbow

exploded across the retina

no colour could be enough

so I used none

I

sketched, madly breaking

you pulsed that etched line

soft as

plunging into waist-deep snow

when you looked up

from the surface

paused everything

something hot and liquid

passed between our eyes

the pencil tip broke

like a brittle rib

flew swallow swift

shattered the world

everything fluttered

the canvas fell down

myriad sparkling frosts

around the drawing of you

muse-pale

inexpressible

eyeless

statue of a goddess

there is no word

in monochrome dialect

for the colour of your lips

(I rage at the inadequacy of paper)

the trails tears make

on your face

‘texture’ I yell at the two mirrors

hanging wedded in the corner

those sharp stings

do not show hashed lines

on your cheeks

after all these years

they have faded like Paris

I cling to your image

as slivers of graphite

to the thick fibres of the page

I am doing my best

to draw you from a photograph

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