Visions Of Monet

Are people looking at me strangely
Or is it only my eyes
I like to make strangers of my friends
Recalling only faceless people with indeterminate outlines
I have visions of Monet
Vivid and emotive yet nondescript
Where I don’t remember any details
The twitch in the top corner of your lip
A hook tooth grin from the man selling ice cream cones or cup
Out the back of a dirty van
We question the sanitation but not our sanity
Buying two soft serves each
One dipped to wear melted chocolate waistcoat
The other with coloured sprinkles and crushed peanuts
You joke that they should offer skin flakes
From the sunburned swimmers backs
We know the white slop contains ground up chicken feet
We don’t speak of that
It’s only a rumour
When you come across cartilage you spit it out discreetly
Fearing the embarrassment of something that isn’t your fault
It rained and we jumped on the bus
In my mind we were dancing on the roof and the driver shouted
Shouted like our mothers did when we danced on our beds
I hold dear these fabrications of mine
Of us amidst some frolicking fabric fantasy
Under the sheets with my heart jumping
We did not jump though
Sitting at the fingerprint window
In front of the obnoxious back door
That kicks the seat swinging open
Where the heater rests underneath
Above us a persistent leak
Drops fell onto your head and you put out your tongue
To taste aluminium shavings and not worry about metal poisoning
The bars under the seat around the heater heat scalding
The number of times I’ve left the skin of my calf behind
Goes unnumbered yet still I persist in taking count
I swear some skin is left behind
Sticking to the slightly rusted stainless steel piping
Now we know why no one sits here
A slow torture comprising a torrent of stale gutter water
With a side of burnt leg hairs
I wonder how you remember this day
Would our stories be the same similar in detail
A facsimile or facade
Nameless friend
I have visions of Monet
Though now you and I dance a waltz to Satie
I read you O’Hara and my favourite parts of Walden over mulled wines midwinter
You dance along the living room carpet for me
Edgar gets his canvas and oils to cast you in one of his immortal performances
Colouring you with pinks though you hate to feel beautiful
Colouring you with youth though you scorn it
Colouring you with all the nuances of a life lived blue
I’ve worked to paint the stock-pile of my mind
To accurately depict once before
They have no borders only the acid wash of ill-prepared preservation
I’ve scraped the layers to fall away
Discarded scales from a luminescent sphinx ancient and decayed
I can not discern or depict the scenes now
I’m left only with a growing pile of destroyed art
Laughing about the frailty of my remembering
I have visions of Monet

copyright Joel Lester