Unfinished Portrait


Your eyes slant like a tomcat's.

You always wear collared shirts.

Your sleepy sigh is like purring.

Fourteen hours to finish your work.

Your thesis proposal's tomorrow.

Dear God, I hope you get through.

You supply towels, apples, time, movies for us,

But who takes care of you?


You study traffic patterns.

Your hair has a licorice sheen.

You salute instead of waving.

Your shoelaces are green.

You pick at your macaroni

One noodle at a time.

One snapshot after another

For the album of my mind.


But I can't reduce you to pictures

Or words in a Valentine card.

That would be taking a Ming vase

and smashing it into shards.

Adding one fact to another

Will never bring me the whole.

I could write you a million poems,

But never portray your soul.