In A Painting
I’m going to live in that painting, he said
lustily. Something about keeping away
from sin, an old word. It was a Chinese print
found in the trash – sunset, waterfall, egret.
Look up at the moon tonight, she said.That
sorcery is perfect. Like the world he wanted.
He’d worship the sun and fish like the bird
glowing white and sing like the falling water.
I’m going to break these shackles and lose
this armor, he said. I’ll make my own things
and be my own boss. And he closed his eyes
so the spray from the river could free him.
I’ll sleep on the couch tonight, okay? she said.
Remember to keep your eyes shut, hold on
to the painting tight and breathe in the moon.
Have a good trip. I won’t make you breakfast.
She needed to change for work but knocked
on the door before entering. Curtains were
open; closing them, she laughed at the bed
not slept in and the painting wet on the floor.
After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself (after Degas)
She slouches in the light there
on the divan; you think you know
her so you walk into the corner
and watch. Edgar longs to be her
maid, dressing up their confessional.
A feather’s weight of egg-white
Egyptian cotton blankets her torso
in the light steam. The parlour bathed
in hurting hues that live in your skin,
and you’re not sure you want it to end.
The soft flowing lines of her back
he stole from a field in Bordeaux
where the sway of her lips aged
in an oak cask of claret. Her ankles
made the locals pull out their guitars.
Scented oils from the Far East
wait their turn to sing on her arms
and cleanse you and tight time
of its dereliction as the night paces
outside, sweating, an anxious voyeur.
Written by D B Goman
D.B. Goman has lived in India, Turkey and Israel; he currently lives in Canada. His poetry, stories, and travel essays have appeared in various journals including Quarry, Poetry Montreal, Jones Av., Eye Magazine, and Ditch. He is also a singer/songwriter/novelist.