Ode to Incompletion / by Lily Greenberg

  Raoul Dufy’s “In the Artist’s Studio”

Raoul Dufy’s “In the Artist’s Studio”

Back to the painting, I drag my slow feet.
That body rests before me—hollow flesh
still without lips, though I hear a speech
from the glaring nipples, a lucid protest.
Nothing is finished in my home.
Half-loved canvases—forsook, strewn about—
sing what could have been. This muck I have sown—
could I pull roots, step back, lay the brush down?

My studio’s form dissolves like melting stone,
colors spilling out across wall and ground,
miraculous squash of dimension—
how the not-quite-done transform what I know,
and loosen the ropes on all that is bound—
making way for this splendor, incompletion.