Oct/Nov 2004 Poetry

Learning Painting

by tolulope ogunlesi

Learning Painting

I'm obsessed with learning
to paint, but I can't

seem to decide what path
to follow—

the broad, crowded highway of lush
forests, rivers, parks and beautiful faces

or the steep, narrow bushpath
of lifeless splashes of hue
meant to be invested with multiple meanings
by different pairs of baffled eyes

Until I settle that,
I think I'll settle for imagining
what my first painting will look like—

a woman, gowned in the white joy
of her wedding day, holding a baby
who cannot dampen her virgin excitement,

standing beside her husband-to-be
at the altar,

him waiting patiently in a black designer
coffin, waiting to be joined to his wife,
wishing he were alive to reply the vows.

What he'd say is this—
for better for worse,
till death fully join us together


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