Pentimento

(For Modesto)

He overlays his work
with a thin spray of preservative
then splashes on canvas acryclic white
as though the masterpiece
is yet to happen, exist.
Back in the studio after a Parisian flight
he hoses it down
& out emerges the luminous handiwork
of his aesthetic sight,
freed from the mercantile paws
of customs officials who impose a duty
where there should be none
because, he says, art is art
& the state should not profit from his psyche.
Truly, if only it would work on his heart;
brush on it a coat of liquid white
so as to hide the wounds & scars
of loves in perdition, loves on the run…
Truly, if only it would work on his heart.

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