I sit down at the table and work my way
over the Braille of a thousand X-acto cuts.
Precise: China has no place here, nor eating,
only kanji of canvas and the strokes
that bought his daily bread gone stale.
These, his tools for living, brushes askew,
some tips the width of a spatulate thumb,
mustache-like tufts of hair,
each tip makes a special mark
just as each sip of Moscato
has its own dumb warming in his absence.
The best I can do is to make what music I can.
She's with the band. Give that girl
a tambourine! Rolled beneath the palm,
there is the staccato of the brushes'
metal cuffs on the wooden table.
There is her wine glass beside the
murky glass he cleans his brushes in.
Earlier, the cat lapped at the tinted water
with a tongue not unlike a brush.
The cat is now a comma on his pillow.
The girl is pouring another glass of wine.