Drowning Nymphs in Paint

Blue Angel 2

By Stephen Linsteadt

Water nymphs lurking beneath pools of paint
shape-shift into images of my paranoia
and the foolishness of flesh.

If my mind could glimpse my soul
it would not return, mesmerized
by the radiance of essence.

Yet it remains vacant behind blobs of paint
laid out on my disposable palette.

Anticipation is better than reality,
the way loving is sweeter than being loved;

the reason nymphs make a game
of drowning sailors with their music.

Over lunch, my 98-year-old friend said, Your wife
just told me to let you know she loves you very much.

The next morning I woke to the feeling
of my wife’s arms around me.

I knew she wouldn’t be there when I opened my eyes
so I rushed to the studio to look for her in paint.

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