“they pass and repass through the air”
I saw the painting mounted on the wall
of the Museo de Bellas Artes
in dusty Sevilla. I could not miss
three female figures, conspiring in shawl.
Dusk settling, crowd gathered for the ball,
a spotlight illuminates the dresses.
Faces held close. What neck tingling is this?
Strong kholled eyes smile, tugging loose the caul
that had enveloped me. A protective
layer of my own making. A strong wish
to hide, face pressed against the windowpane.
Shaking bones need hope, even tentative.
Creeping illness makes paint and thoughts bluish,
that I would like to begin again.