October 24, 2011

painting elephant

The face on the canvas
begins to breathe,
like an animal
staring out of a cage.

The elephant holds a tiny brush
in his wrinkled trunk,
paint blotches dried
to his ivory tusks.

He stands, like a small grey house,
mixing colors in his studio.

He’s at his easel all day
and late into the night,
concentrating on a face
across the pillow of his imagination.

Details return to him,
burned into the mainframe of his memory.
He can feel her lips again
kissing his forehead.

craig shay (Bay Shore, NY, 1982)