Painting Women

Modigliani’s painted women,
warm ruddy yellow demure,
invited me to belly, breast, and vertex
where love life springs. so I approached

wanting your gold in my palms,
to borrow his brush touch
and reach your fingers, seal our circuit,
eyes encompassed, circles closed,
promises glowing, conveyed
beyond mere suggestions.

But I can’t paint, can’t take your picture.
My eyes burned, the thin film spoiled,
shutter’s stuck, over-exposed.
and delicate feints folded,
those superb poses, poorly acted.
I’m no painter, you’re no model.
No one loves a mime.
Your body’s tactile magic didn’t hold
I brushed it insubstantial, messy end.

I went back to Modigliani, his women,
examined them some more, envied his eye,
loped along the distance,
through quiet, vacant galleries.