A chilling wind blows by outside.
Scattered gusts enter
the window of the small studio,
fighting back the faint warmth
of an overworked radiant heater.
A young man stands before his easel
reproducing on canvas
the gaunt, hollow-eyed,
which attack him in his dreams.
Five floors below
the people of the city
are just leaving their jobs,
headed home from another day of
phone calls, and meetings,
and endless paperwork.
He doesn’t notice.
The blues and blacks on the canvass
A mouthful of coffee
helps him regain his perspective.
One step back, then
a swirl of the brush brings out
maroon figures dancing across
the bleak landscape, then
a streak of white for contrast.
Another pause, he tries
to see it like the viewer might.
He scratches his nose,
leaving a red mark,
which matches the blue one
he made an hour ago.
And as he works into the night,
the darkness on the canvass
begins to take shape,
becoming both his masterpiece and