April morning, blue sky, Los Angeles

Disney Concert Hall, downtown Los Angeles, designed by Frank Gehry

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.