Fall in love with an unfinished painting

and you risk the belovedís oblivion

at any moment.  No comfort knowing

ways to unlayer pigment, reveal

an earlier version.  You love the sticky

glisten, its sharp smell.  Polynesiaís still

working by torchlight after Billís candle

has guttered in his tent.  A swirl of oils

disappears as you watch.  Crouch against

the carved carousel, etch into

memory what each new stroke hides.