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Painting Break

05.07.20 Posted in today's words by

G.H. Mosson has published several poetry books and chapbooks, including Family Snapshot as a Poem in Time (Finishing Line, 2019), and was coauthor of Heart X-Rays (PM Press, 2018), with poetry and literary commentary are forthcoming or have appeared in The Northern Virginia Review, The Evening Street Review, Measure, The Tampa Review, Smartish Pace, Free State Review, Rattle, and The Cincinnati Review. He received four Pushcart Prize nominations and won the Erskine J. Poetry Prize (2015) from Smartish Pace magazine. He has a BA in English from Portland State University and an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where he was a lecturer and a teaching fellow. An attorney since 2012, he enjoys raising his children, hiking, and reading. To learn more, visit

Painting Break
By G.H. Mosson 

 “I don’t know what painting is,
   who knows what sets off
   even the desire to paint?”        

—Philip Guston

In withdrawing light of late afternoon
a mosaic shimmers
above the couch
where I blink awake
waterfalling colors
which curl back into
the four soft corners
of the ceiling and fade
like old ladies’ hair
still growing in graves.
Now the speckled sheen
spills the chuckle of old men
who banter about teenage crushes
on park benches. Flecks of gray
appear as if the tears
from all I’ve fought
to keep, while red specks
as if unlocked
from flowering trees
tumble through this half-sleep
mixed with orange squares
from the last call of two birds
at the very hinge of dusk,
and I think of you again,
and again I think of me.
Now all sparkles like a hanging veil
until dispersed by delivery trucks
and other cling-clang from the street.

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