Raissa Li // THE ARTIST

Paint splotches color the universe in a swirl of orange and yellow and red,

Beautiful brushes sweep away the tears of water,

Like little brooms carefully cleaning the mess of the world,

Sweep, swish, scour.


Bristles tingle at the touch of a drop of pure gold,

Immense pleasure wipes away the surface of plain white,

Her love, Her joy,

Her painting.


The canvas is engulfed with cinnamon and spice,

A blanket of paint over the cold fabric,

Warming the sheet with its vibrant fires,

The feel of the smooth solid wood in her fingertips.


Emerging from the dream of pink light,

She steps from the studio,

Hands rich and radiant from the brilliant hues of that day.

Eyes twinkling, as the dusk of dawn shimmers through her golden lens.


She wipes away the stains of yesterday,

Gently erasing the blemishes that cover her freckled skin,

The yellow water runs down the drain,

And washes away the critics, the judgement, the vacant gazes.


No medical, no business, no law school,

Will give her the contentment she feels today,

Her parents scolding stares, and pale blank expressions,

Will not overcome her passion for art.


Bursting through the doors, out into the busy New York streets,

The faces of inspiration crowd around her,

Dreaming to be recognized,

To be noticed as people grin at her art.


The sun is setting in the cold bright sky,

Collecting her canvases and brushes and empty paint bottles,

She takes out a tiny apple,

Rotten and gray.


And yet, she smiles.