King Ferdinand VII of Spain reportedly once told Goya, "You deserve to be garroted, but you are a great artist so we forgive you."
Some nights are harder than others
Sometimes I can’t hear myself think in the dark
where my thoughts cast no shadows
I knew a poet once
I have an oil painting of him
hidden away in my closet
I can drag him out anytime I want to
he drags me out instead
We are ruled by our hungers
Sometimes I’m hungry
for this piece of his soul
I deserve it; I earned it
I commissioned this painting)
But now I can’t get rid of it
Who would want it?
I’m the only one – for the most part anyway
Some nights I feel as if I’m really seeing it for the first time
really seeing him for the first time
now that he’s gone
Some nights I dream of his ghost
Too much moon ruined our plans
(too much moon and not enough dark)
Now I’m just waiting
for the shadows to empty
so that I can sleep
This poem was first published at Medusa's Kitchen.
Cynthia Linville has taught in the English Department at California State University, Sacramento since 2000. She served as Managing Editor of Convergence: an online journal of poetry and art from 2008-2018. Her work has appeared in many publications and several anthologies. Linville’s two books of collected poems, The Lost Thing (2012) and Out of Reach (2014), are available from Cold River Press. You can visit her website at http://cynthialinville.com
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