in the ill-lit basement, damp with mildew,
where turpentine hangs heavy in the air,
an old man snores, slumped over on a stool.

behind his wrinkled, graying eyelids lies
an abandoned museum full of pictures
that his hands have forgotten how to paint.

in dreams, he wanders cubist corridors
flooded with blurring water lilies while
melting clocks drip waxen years down the walls.

but color recedes into memory
as he wakes to a canvas consumed by
blankness, trapped inside a monochrome world.

a/n: june 29, 2010.