Your Portrait

i painted your portrait
in words on paper,
in measured beats
drawn taut across
a bland white canvas

it didn’t look like you:
you cannot be held so easily
in words;
the flesh of trees
denies your complexity

and so, resigned,
i colored in the edges
i connected the letters
i scratched away the details

and when i leaned back and squinted
i realized the face i saw
was my own


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