The painter remains removed from scene, too far away to make out love or gender; far enough away only the orange glow of a bustling cafe at night seems sure—sure enough to make the sky almost blue and the cobblestone violet and green—the way oil might play with light and everything improves in the evening light of a cafe. He paints at night to be sure of night, to let the shadows and light play games with him. They do. If someone loved him enough, they might make him step forward but he remains alone, framing from the dark. He is not mad but madness is coming around the corner as clear as the hooves of carriage horses and a gun gone off, far off, offstage. Tonight he is beautiful. Hair wild with the most brilliant orange paint on his fingers. Cast in the black sky he refuses to paint black. His eyes still electric. He paints his scene as if blurred by tears.
All genius on the edge of a fall
defining everything bright
and what little good.