You lived creatively letting art define your life, fearless in your every day, walking the path I would have walked if I had courage in my veins; but I was a percentage man, careful always not to fail. I talked of art but lived by common sense and progressed cautiously toward an unmarked death.
At first you welcomed me: drowning me in kisses and opening yourself up to me in pagan celebration sure that I, like you, was of the chosen few, who recognised the secret beauty of our lives will only be expressed through fearless creativity. How we loved to swap observations, and nestle with each other by the fire and talk of love. I touched your skin and felt each brush of it awake my soul. Your lips, for that short time, were mine to kiss and face to hold: wonder was our chemistry, and through each other we had found love for our eternity.
I lost my nerve at last, and talked of safe professions, a refuge from the fear that those who live to dream will pay a cost until, one day, that love I drank so freely from your eyes shrank to a trickle of regret.
You painted like a girl possessed while I trained for my bar exams and we drifted on complicitly, avoiding the unspoken truth, that you were fearless and I was not. An agent came to see your work, sent there by a man of note, and the rest we know is history. You have created these forty years and I have not, but I read of you in magazines, and sometimes when silence fills my life, I take the portrait you made of me, a young man with a dream to chase, staring out courageously, for that was how you saw me then.
Life becomes your memories and in that place I love you still. I never speak your name out loud, and make no reference to your work but every day I take my walk, past the garden where we sat as, safe within my silent heart, you pass your fingers through my hair.