I saw a Picasso painting and it fucked me up
because it wasn’t oil on canvas, it was a mirror.
Her pain was contagious, her skin all sickly and diseased, all yellow and green, her hair in blue and purple streaks, matted, heavy, left unwashed for weeks.
She was stifling her screams and catching her tears in a tissue made of broken glass, muffling her sobs with icy crystal shards, alone, in pain, insane, confined within the edges of a 60 by 49 frame.
Those eyes held stories of the lives of every person she’d ever known yet betrayed no life of their own. Black holes filled to the brim with untold horrors, her eyelashes holding back the weight of a thousand lies, a pathetic barrier between the tsunami of torture within her and the face that she wears for the world;
but it will not hold, it will not hold, the wave breaks the boundary, spewing poison, rioting down her cheeks and into a handful of glass, the tears fall and fall;
and her lover only watches on, making her a spectacle, a beautiful and tragic sight to behold, not one to be reassured, not one to be consoled. He studied her pain because he wouldn’t face his own, just as you study mine because you will not face yours.
She and I, we are the same:
a sight to be seen,
a suffering machine,
a perfect exhibition
of devastation and depression.
I immediately recognised myself as the subject of the portrait
although I know that you’d say, “No, that’s not you, not at all,”
but I’m so certain that it is me, I am so certain.
How did Pablo know me so well so many years before I was born? It seems that the only people who ever truly knew me are two dead men who found beauty in the forlorn.
And so I’m left behind
with these tidal waves of grief
and a disintegrating heart,
wandering around empty galleries,
and wiping away my tears
with shards of broken glass.