Issue 13 - David Duncombe - Artist

He assessed the depth of blue in her eyes, 

ultramarine, gentian perhaps in softer light,  

then combined the powdered rock with oil 

and applied it, steady as a surgeon.  

 

With a bold touch he brushed her neck, 

that pellucid fairness, then with gentle strokes 

in light and shade suggested the warmth 

he translated from the swell of her breast.  

 

She watched him concentrating on 

the mixing of his colours, measuring 

the next public confession of his thoughts, 

pressing his lips tight, holding back the words. 

 

He noticed how her lips parted almost 

to a smile and asked her to remain  

exactly in that pose, the expression 

of a moment of disappointment.  

 

He gave the same cold attention, she thought, 

to the ripples in the folds of her silk dress,  

showing his feelings only in his outburst 

at the interruption when the door was knocked. 

 

She thought of Gina and her poor painter, 

who lacked these rich materials but made love,  

Gina said, in the studio: yet unlike her master here, 

he had never quite captured her.  

 

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