you left me with watercolours
blue, purple, and green
I know they can’t be seen anymore
but they bear the shape
of your mouth.

you left me dusted in charcoal
my touch never comes clean
every place that you’ve been leaves traces
of you I forgot
were there

you left me slathered in oils
that refuse to dry
each brushstroke of goodbye a handprint
their grain in the pattern
of your fingertips.

when we were together
I was your canvas
stretched over ribs tight in my frame
I tried to breathe your subject
have me life imitate your art
be your easel and your pallet.

I am not a painting, Pygmalion
I am still white-washing your marks from my marble

I am not a painting, Pygmalion
and your medium lingers in my pores like ghosts

I am only carved bones
and sculpted flesh

I left you to learn sculpting

I want to design my own face.

© chris DINGLEY 2013
first performed for Words To Live By, Ottawa


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