by Bruce Boston and Marge Simon

He plays with phantoms,
imagining a sensate response
as his fingers touch the gesso.

Tracing forms as yet unborn
he cannot sleep, his mind intent
on the caress of his brush as it

layers the paint in bas-relief.
Drawn more deeply than most
into the resonance of textures

he surfaces intoxicated with
burnt sienna and rose obsidian.
Pale areolas appear, erect,

nipples framed by violet moons.
He steps back, catches his breath.
Is that her brow he brings to light

where shadows bower raptured eyes?
Did his last touch strike a pulse
in the dusky valley of her throat?

Has he captured the hint of motion
in the posture of her naked limbs?
Or is it her remembered warmth

alone that breathes from the canvas?
Faster, deeper daubs his brush,
which stills only as the final stroke

draws him onward into illusion,
where their figures dance together,
sensate forms in bas-relief.

Appeared in Dreams and Nightmares

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