Prose – “The Painted Portrait” – Romance – 5/13/2020

I caught her beside the portrait, fairly new to its beholding. I caught where she sighed a breath to disturb the oils, or perhaps cause it to dry a bit faster. I caught how her hair fell down just an inch longer, after the time passed during my initial painting of her. She had thrown a ribbon to the side, after those dark tresses melted over her ivory shoulders and neck.

I wanted to draw her aside, and sting her lips with a kiss. I wanted to cry all the Heaven’s lakes and ponds down onto her cheeks, when I hold her close. I wanted to sink my teeth in her tongue, to know her words. I wanted all this, though her eyes were upon that portrait.

Her beauty is staggering. Of one set of nostrils to breathe in the aroma of paint and oils that is thrown like a candle’s fragrance from the canvas, appearing like dual calderas. Surely, her mind must be engulfed by the fire to which are those fumes. All the more, I wanted to draw her away. Though, as I am standing, I can envision those eyes that are examining the whole of her face, as though she is a witness in another session of vanity, to a mirror in display of her countenance. How bold must her desires be, when she breathes in a gust through a pair of red lips, that she can see what she sees without noticing difference.

Just two months ago, I painted her. All I painted was her face, not the form that I had collapsed with under sheets of prime white. Not the limbs, nor even the shoulders, and barely even the neck was a part of this piece. I wished to make note of a memory, to see all that could be a part of what I truly recognize about her.

What I love, from who I love, in all that I recognize of the woman whose beauty is unmatched by even God’s most exalted angels, is her face. It is those ivory textures that are curved of the cheeks, angular of the cheekbones, watchful of the eyes, and curious of the nostrils that still breathe the fumes of paint. It is the recognizable beauty that does not fade. I am in love with her, the magic that has no secret left to be known.

All recognizable, as the ages pass with her knowing a fond memory of something she too, recognizes. Of youth, of her adorable and bountiful textures to her skin, and of the memory that will not dissipate.

Though, upon her turning around to see me, I realized I had only been looking upon the portrait. I was not seeing her. Oh, my love is sick. She is ill, and all I wanted to capture was something that only two months ago, had not worsened to the point where I cannot recognize the beauty.

Within my moments of sheer imagination, of describing herself, I had only been viewing the portrait, the memory, and the time before the illness captured her. It had captured her, the illness, not me. All I can capture is something that cannot return.

Now upon her face, is etched the image of longing. A factor I did not realize, up until now. Just the longing to see something of her own self in the portrait of her beauty. Just the longing that is so translucent, that within the next second, I see right through it to the portrait, once more.