My pencil skitters across the page as I begin to block in the composition.
“I wish you’d settle,” she grunts. A familiar complaint. Mother still blames me for father’s early departure. He’d packed his bags long before I had the chance to memorize his face. “I can’t hear myself think,” his parting words, the determined smell of his Toscano cigar leaving a trail I never followed.
“Just warming up for your portrait,” I breathe into her ear, but she’s already heaving herself out of my bed, the bedclothes traveling with her, my sketchpad bouncing to the floor.
I lean over, grab my pencil, check the point for damage, grab the covers and pull them back over my knees.
Francesca teases that if I’m not painting or drawing, sharpening my pencils, or in the cafes trading scribbles for paper or canvas, my world might come to an end. She implores me to bathe as often as I clean my brushes, to occasionally take her out for a stroll, her public chance to posture and puff.
Mid-morning sun pours in, illumines the Arches paper. My lover may have left, but I resolve to prove her wrong. I readjust the pad, fill in the swan.
Mikki Aronoff’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Ekphrastic Review, Virga, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, London Reader, SurVision, Rogue Agent Journal, Popshot Quarterly, South Shore Review, The Fortnightly Review, Gentian Journal, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and elsewhere. A two-time Pushcart nominee, she is also involved in animal advocacy.
The Ekphrastic Review
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