The Artist

The Artist

By Kimberly Phinney

You said to meet you in the park,
and I came like a good girl should
in my fancy dress and Mary Janes.
I was always trying to impress you,
but my petticoat was torn and soiled,
and my shoes were scuffed and worn,
and I wasn’t quite enough for you.

Oh, but I so admired you in moments
that were ordinary and unlikely.
You were so inspired that I was left
to feel so very common and boring.
You’d take your coffee black at midnight,
and I would say unwittingly, “How nice.”
Your writings were tortuous and epic,
and I was, “Simply a cliché,” you said.
Your art was monumental with each stroke.
Your anger was beautiful and unexpected,
like when I burned your buttered toast,
and you were left to eat eggs alone.
You yelled with passion that I never felt
but forgave quickly, tossing breakfast aside,
and in those moments, my insecurities
slinked off my skin and out of my mind.
Being against you healed me, alright.
You said once, long ago, I was your muse;
you saw it in my face, and we were born.
So for days strung together, I would wait
to see that look again and feel your power.

And now I sit here and wait in the cold
for you to come and sit next to me,
to talk eye-to-eye on a bench for two;
It’s been so long since last I’ve seen you.

Oh, I do so remember the day you left me;
something about Amsterdam at dawn
and that you had your fill of New York,
single flats, and girls from the Carolinas.
I said, “You can’t, your paintings, your work…”
“Keep them,” you laughed me off in that way
you always did when you were bored by me.
I cried like a little girl, and you packed.
The muse was gone and no little thing
could keep you any longer inside this space.
You were an artist; I was careless to love you,
and so you left like you came…

I am still waiting in my dress and shoes
for you to meet me like you said you would
in your poem you wrote so long ago…
“In the park, your red dress finds me,
on a bench for two, you remind me,
that a love, which is consuming,
finds its way back to you…”

[written at 20/pondering broken-hearts]

Photography property of

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