I paint your face all the time, how I remember you.
Laughing. Angry. Dreaming. I have tried to catch the arc of you, with paint.
I have laboured for days over these fractions of time. Together they are less than you, not even a skeleton to hang you from.
Sometimes, I have caught a look that has no name. All must lie silent then.
Other times, I have torn you into pieces because you were not you. I know I cannot bring you back. I leave the maze of walls then, and sit in our favourite places, looking out for you. I breathe deeply for your scent. I look for your footprints, and listen for your warm breath in the air.
Your palimpsest is in my heart, which I am stretching across these frames for you.
I look through the window at our swing seat and its cushion of roses.
I have looked from there back into my studio, at its collage of canvases in which I was lost, for years. I picture myself in there looking out, framed by the window, the artist’s installation of regret.
These are some of the ways I lose and find myself in you, now that you are gone.
They say the eyes are the windows of the soul; I am blessed with an imagination which lets me see you still, your face at my window. I paint and paint, into the night I paint. I draw the blinds and shut my eyes, and still I see you, and still I paint.
You pass through my dreams when my hands are empty but you are never there when I awake, and turn my head.
I have special days, bad days they are.
Then I clear the studio wall. I choose a portrait, and stick it there on its own, low down. I sit with my back to it. I shuffle my chair backwards and forwards, until your face is reflected next to mine, and then I see we are together, sitting on a swing seat, hardly able to move.