It’s so curious what we choose to frame.
You could, I am sure, with your art degree, explain
to me how aesthetics change. And why.
But I have too much dirt and dust in my home
to want an image of dirt and dust on my wall.
And I don’t relate to women in gowns
parting floral drifts with a white parasol.
I remember the first time I went to your home
and saw in your hall a painting—just one color, red,
you had painted it yourself—and I recall
how easy I found it to stare and stare and get lost
inside. So much of the world is black and white.
On my walls, it’s mostly nudes.
It never seemed strange until my children
asked why there were so many naked women
in our home. I didn’t know what to say
to make it okay. I said, “Because they are beautiful.”
If I could, I would frame the laughter
you left on my answering machine
and hang that on my wall. Or frame
how warm the sun was when we went for a walk.
Or frame the taste of peaches, the scent
of wood smoke and poems in our hair, the easy
silence we sometimes share.
But I would frame, too, the mornings
we speak of our children and weep.
And I’d frame our hurt and our fear
and the nights we’ve fallen apart.
So perhaps that’s not so different
from framing dust and dirt. And those
two women strolling in the sun,
on second thought, they look familiar.