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The Edge of His Paper


He draws on my breasts with marker

dots, peace signs, flowers,

vines, doodles

I hope it will wash away.

He draws and I let him

I mind and I don’t 

I love it; it bothers me.


He draws on my breasts with marker

it lingers, then dissipates.

I like it more, I grow used to it; 

I wonder why I allow it.


Last night he drew an owl amazingly well.

We can’t hear owls where we live

we have a backyard and a front yard

but we live in the city.

My neighbor saw an opossum last year

she said it looked Iike a very ugly cat.

Squirrels, racoons, no owls.

He saw an owl close to him once

as a child, in the woods where he lived.

He dreams of the owl often

he tells me the owl is beneficent.

He says I was ready to draw it

to give it to you.


I can’t draw an owl that looks like an owl

I can’t draw an opossum.

I used to paint, abstract tangles from my brain

I stopped.

He draws on my breasts

he runs out of room and draws on my torso

I tell him my belly button is the line of demarcation –

the edge of his paper.


I used to paint abstract tangles from my brain

before that, spheres with lines of eggshell cracks,

before that, small black and white orbs

thickened red paint dripping beside them.

My paintings lean on each other in the basement 

I like it like that.

My paintings lean on each other

and he draws

his breath brushes my breasts.


I can’t paint an owl that looks like an owl

I can’t paint an opossum

I can’t paint now

so I don’t.

I make him bread, soup, scones

I make slowly roasted chicken

I make salads filled with gorgeous colors.

I dot oil into water

spiral raisins into scone batter

tint the soup with beets

dye muffins purple with blueberries.


Some day he will stop drawing on my breasts

when he wants to stop but

I will never stop cooking

dotting, swirling, tinting 

I will never stop dying, daubing, tinging

slicing, striping.

I will paint us beautiful meals

I will sketch rich, scented air

I will draw us nourishment, plenty, fullness.

His markers will dry out; he will come to the table

and eat my creations.

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