Shadow of a cactus and an orchid on the wall next to Jacqueline

  from above he focuses the lens on the spots under

the rim of her brow. Kisses to the skin. Those you cannot take. She tells him

that which makes up this world is the beautification of our mistakes. The

error, the error preceded by the other, an error, and Jacqueline

 

is so beautiful, even the painter, even the young man turned old, will marry her,

and draw her, and remember her shape, every day, as though he were missing from it…

So that when the sun sets the orchids mellow.

Who is left to make a picture of these creatures.

 

When the clouds quiet down over the rooms in the house.

These floors, to walk them, is beautiful,

though they were made for Jacqueline.  He leaves the lights on,

the plants dried, sometimes even the paint

hardens overnight. The cheekbones of

 

a woman will lift the more her mother misses her…

In one year he paints her one hundred

and sixty times. To count the days that belong

still to the sky.

How beautiful she was.

She tells him.

When even the film dries out

he paints her neck as long as he can make it. He leaves her

 

all his sculptures. Were she here, he would not find her. Were she 

a desert bird and not a Parisian queen she would have imprinted on

this wall long ago, and wakened the shadows that run amok it, and tried,

blooming flower from blooming flower, to summon

the small air that makes the ground lift one step closer to its firmament.