“Paint” by Jessica Renee Dawson

He baptizes His brush
within warm cadmium yellow
a touch of alizarin crimson
painting a sunset across my sky
my skin
as timber, bare of bark
all who walk by the waters
touch my silhouette
He plunges into phthalo blue
ultramarine, and a spot of white
the colour of my eyes
clouds, moving across a vast expanse
the autumn fields
sway with yellow ochre
His bristles
touch each head of grain
and clothe my crown
with fields of golden wheat
shading with burnt umber
though my hands are Naples yellow
my wood knotted, leaves fallen
he touches my sullen lips with red earth
parched branches,
an extension of my beauty
for those who walk by
to see what would have been breathed,
beheld, lived
had my bark not shed
my leaves not fallen

first appeared in Poetry Quarterly

Jessica Renee Dawson, lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She has taken creative writing through North Island College, and has studied under notable poets, Lynne Knight, and Jan Zwicky. Dawson’s works have appeared in journals including: Poetry Quarterly, INK IN THIRDS, The Tulane Review, Wild Plum, and NonBinary Review.

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