Girl with Pink Hair Leaning Against a Wall

April 3, 2010

The worst thing
about having pink hair
and being in a painting
is that at the opening evening
of the exhibition
everybody knows who you are.

You can’t look
at the painting.
Looking at the painting
looks like standing in a room
and gazing at yourself
in a mirror

You can’t stand
near the painting.
Standing near the painting
looks like you’re seeking
attention.

When other people
are looking at the painting
you have to keep a respectful distance.

If they see you
standing within earshot
they clam up
like they are mussels
and you are daylight.

You’re a bad smell
or a strong perfume.
They look around
and if they see you
they move on.

And you don’t know
what they were talking about
while they were standing
and pointing
and gesturing and murmuring
silently
with their hands.

You don’t know
what they were saying
out loud
with their mouths
moving and their clothes
russling secret sounds.

And their words curl
into the canvas, sink
into her paint shut eyes.
Her hair threads like a salmon,
falls like flamingos
fades into pink
like the edge of the night.

You stand on the edge
of their talking,
and they talk to her.
And three’s a crowd.

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