I Nailed You
I nailed you and I have you in a box
I balance on my lap aboard the train.
A 9-by-12 inch portrait that unlocks
what I believe to be your soul. A stain
on canvas, a permanent and mortal mark.
In years to come you’ll gather dust between
a night class nude and Landscape with a House
above my bookshelf. But for now the green
I mixed with red unbuttoning your blouse
is wet, the shadow on your shoulder dark
and thick, the highlight on your face
uneven, though it captures your distinct
appeal and can be scraped. I can erase.
But I will not, as neither of us blinked
tonight in your apartment on the park.
by Rick Mullin, from Transom, Dos Madres Press, 2017
Editor’s Note: Rich imagery marries painting to poetry in these lines, while delicately narrating the eroticism of an encounter that might be permanent (and might not).