by Anderson O'Brien

Response to a Painting of Robert Bailey, Jr.

Placid as Buddha,
face half lit, you tender
secrets. I could tell
you things. A silver cross
hangs around your neck.
I think you are a priest.
Tell of the secret world,
I long to say to you.
What of our spirits?

The name of the exhibit
is Heroes and Villains,
and I realize I don’t know
which I’m looking at.
At home I search the web
to find the truth.
The guy you beat almost
to death, did you know
his name, because all I know
is the color above your head
is the same blue—
same as the sky at twilight.

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