My footsteps echo against the walls

of this quiet, blank corridor.

Turning the corner, I find a new gallery,

paintings aglow in the after-hours light.

I am a ragged gray shadow, surrounded

by all these works of art.

Shifting my weight as slowly as possible,

I make my way across the room

and stop in front of the masterpiece.

All whites and blues, every color blended in between,

hues swirling across the canvas -

I feel beautiful just by looking at it.

The brushstrokes draw my hand forward -

I must feel those textures beneath my fingertips,

understand the techniques of the artist.

Who painted this? What was going through their mind?

Did they realize they were creating something so beautiful?

My hand reaches out to touch the watercolor,

and to my horror, I leave a smear,

a dark smudge tainting the once-perfect painting.

The light that had illuminated the piece burns out,

and as the last of the dim orange glow fades,

I do the same.