His Final Piece

His Final Piece

The artist leaned over his latest work,
It’s peaceful now and clear to see
a masterpiece took place.
But something’s different this time,
things seem to be surreal.
His torturous other half
was silenced by his brush.

The setting hues of amber sun beam
down on his bedroom canvas.
What started as his spouse’s portrait
became adulterously abstract.
He painted the male subject violently
with slashing strokes to capture
the distinctions of his neck.
His wife was painted more delicately
to capture her sullied elegance.

First he painted along her ribs,
stealing the screams from her lungs.
Carving down her torso, his wife
spilled her guts to him, but still speechless
from shock. She had given him his heart,
so he rightfully took what was his.
The artist kissed his wife
one final time to inspire his finishing strokes.
Her eyes were closed, as were his, as he raised
her chin just so. He inhales and then strikes
her neck as paint splatters on his face.

The stale odors of the drying paint seep across
the room. He wears the stains on his shirt
like a red badge of courage.
His eyes soak in every fume, nose inhales
every color. The vibrant reds and tattered
clothes are detailed so justly.
The artist knows his work is lifeless,
yet its beauty calms his nerves.

Tranquility consumes the artist
now that he’s mastered his final piece.
The artist, can finally rest.
rocking in his chair, the artist must digest.

–          Dave Knowlton