These days I set my palette any old how,
No light to dark, no warm to cold or crass rainbow
Here’s Titanium White for those crescent moons beneath your breasts;
In more full bodied times drinking Claret on a Bordeaux beach
You laughingly went topless, but lay face down
To hide your blush
That night I dined on sand and peach.
I have Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Hansa Yellow Light
For those temporary scars your accommodating skin
Takes from pants and skirts, tight restricting things.
The world’s sharp points,
And once or twice the intaglio of my palmprint on your naked arse.
With Apothecarial care I could blend Quinacridone,
Dioxazine and Manganese to paint those blotches,
Spots and bumps that constellate your flesh;
A Supernova melanoma.
Can we make a picture by joining up our dots?
And then in a dried up, curled up, tube
There’s Rose Madder for your tear stained eyes.
Did I make you weep, better to paint,
With vain dismissive strokes,
My own reflection and to gauge my size?
When we both were young we used virgin, monosyllabic colours.
I wore that Blue suit, Red silk shirt and green tie.
God was I hot. You called me cool.
But now we dress in sunset shades,
Appeasement Brown, Compromise Pink, a pastel chromological lie
Let me die first, but bury me redly, paint
My headstone orange, sing yellow songs of praise;
Let me go armed with young, primary
And unconsecrated colours
Into that endless, sightless peace.