"Love Poem for a Portrait of a Poem"

Rose Maloukis

Rose Maloukis (she) is a poet and visual artist with a BFA from Wayne State University, Detroit, who in 2015 found that her painted lines were turning more and more into written ones. Since then, she has been shortlisted for an international award, won prizes from Geist and Arc Poetry Magazine, and been published in The Fiddlehead and The New Quarterly. Her chapbook, Cloud Game with Plums, was published in 2020 by above/ground press. She is guest editing an issue for Turret House, a new small press which publishes The Frog Pond Review. Several of her recent line drawings, as concrete poems, are part of her first full-length collection.

“This poem responds to the painting Emily Dickinson Poem Number 1101 (1984) by Will Barnet.”
opaque tape top

     You

     in a quiet bird brown room
     looking down      I want you
     to turn

     to me
     from thought and speak
     like an actor in an aside

     who reveals his character
     Tell me of your hands
     pointing two directions

     my own decisions there
     the choice to love you
     and gaze inward from the world

     as lovers do      at the beginning
     seeing only the beloved in light
     how ecstatic the view

     Your dark hair falling long
     there is so much
     loosely held      contrast

     the leaning
     intoxicating
     vulnerability of your neck

     exposed      pale skin and
     eros between your lines
     urging

     brush points      outside
     a small window a gradient blue
     pause      balance      return

     bright leaps      the pull of you

opaque tape b