Paint for the Canvas by Bob Rich

She sat across the room from me
(and she still lingers there like an amorous phantom),
with blonde hair spilling in waves across her bare shoulders
like silken yellow paint splashing across a fresh canvas.
I could feel the yellow paint stirring in warm circles within my heart
like gold dust collected into a metal pan
from my panning for gold in the cool streaming river of the senses.
For so long, only the rocky gray blandness of gravel
had filled the pan of my heart.
But, will this gold dust soon float out from my pan
into the vast ocean of the non-descript waters of time
and vanish out into the gray foggy horizons beyond memory,
where no sea gull’s cry is heard,
where there is no rustling of a boat’s sails,
where lovers cannot embrace,
where laughter and tears cannot touch the air or the water?
Will she be forgotten like a floating orchid cast out to sea to damply wander,
away from the shores of real life
where we could have relaxed in a private embrace
on a real blanket of plush white sand?
A slow, soft kiss from her mouth might have tasted as sweet
as juice from a ripe and purple plum in summer ~~
with one kiss,
she could have extracted five years of dark red sorrow from my heart,
lifting the crimson poison
into the strong shining light
of the smile on her rose-colored lip gloss.
Then, I could breathe in cool watery mists of oxygen from the ocean’s breeze,
and wipe my eyes
and her smile would remain like gentle rays falling from the noontime sun.
Yet, for now, she is only a watercolor painting in the hand of memory,
representing an idea of love,
and the colors of the painting will inevitably fade to gray
unless I see her again…

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