Cadmium Red

I tried to share it with you;
how to take apart the toxic words,
the red strokes that obliterate a canvas.

but you’ll never get it; unless you come
to see your red splatter as a habit in its ugly
vastness — the subject caught, distraught.

How ferociousness must stay within
the bounds of some aperture or design,
however abstract, on its blank canvas.

This is part of the secret when working
in Cadmium Red. Knowing the first brush
stroke, feeling out when to stop the colour

from overbearing the white space, knowing how much
paint spread out is too much pigment for one piece.
How to ease out the measure between paint

and brush with the grip of your fingers, same as
the dip of a feather tip, as if writing in blood;
the object becomes subtle, sacred and sleek.

It was fun for a while, making bold splotchy
red circles and strokes of desire, the smell of
oil so thick and perverse, until dried. I began

to see the red tragedy reflected through your eyes,
what had not been imbued by you, the lack of skill,
your missing talent to contain the poison for such

wanton passion and intricate pleasure. What is most
required when releasing the awe of a romance
with cadmium red.


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