I paint with words
Sometimes the pain is a man, a limping man, not because his legs aren’t strong enough, it’s his heart that has walked a thousand miles, only to be met with nothing that wants it
This is the man in my painting, who hears the word promise and his heart translates it to shattering glass, “Please, make it stop. Tell them I’ve heard of promise before, waited with baited breath, but he’s the second coming, the never coming. All I hear is his name as a scream, a broken prayer, an abandoned temple heavy on my chest.”
This man in my painting is he who sleeps with religion under his pillow, but is a stranger to himself. This man has shades of blue on the lids of his eyes, he looks at the skies and thinks of home. He’s been promised a home in the skies, and sometimes the dark night is a terror for him, he cannot imagine a home hidden behind a sky that even the sun abandoned.
This man knows what it means to be abandoned, he hears the word lonely and his heart swells with familiarity.
Sometimes alone is a smell, a distinct scent left behind by promise.
He speaks in broken phrases, nothing makes sense anymore. Did it ever make sense? Was promise a foreign tongue snuck in in the throes of passion? A violation of his inner being. A shattering of an existence he was yet to be familiar with. How can he remember if he was never given a chance to forget of his own accord, if it was stolen from him?
The man in my painting hears of promise and remembers every moment of peace he’s never had.
This man carries a walking stick and calls it a bible, it’s easier to hold on to something you can see, easier to believe in the invisible power of something you can touch.
His jacket pockets are heavy with a tenth of everything, how he holds his breath as a funeral rehearsal. You don’t rehearse death, right? Nobody told this to the man who is not on speaking terms with being alive. Nobody told him that you treat death like a family secret: forget about it until you come face to face with a moment that causes you to remember, and it’s usually too late to package it in a way that makes sense.