Are you my lover or my landscape

he said, probably quoting O’Keeffe who
was paraphrasing Corot I think.
What a difference to have
an artist in my bed—
paraphrased—art student. I never
have to wonder what he thinks
after sex as he stares into
the darkness of the room, I know
he is envisioning his next
piece, watching it coalesce from
something hazy like a Turner,
something vague that takes
its time to come together, the way
it took months for us to arrive
in bed, one always seeing
another and the regular excuses.
But now, who can mind the hours
in the studio or where the paint
from his clothes ends up?
Sculpt this piece in a soft form
of ruined sheets and the hustle
for the next opportunity
to shine. Thank god I’m no painter,
poetry is easier, mostly staring
out a window, attending
a few parties, waiting for the next
muse to arrive.

Jory Mickelson is the author of WILDERNESS // KINGDOM (Floating Bridge Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in print and online in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. He received an Academy of American Poets Award and holds fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and Centrum’s Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. 

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