The Problem of Hands

And how to fill them 
is the problem of cigarettes and paint.  

First time I felt my undoing 
was in front of 

a painting—Sam Francis, I believe.  

Oh, his bloomed out, Xanax-ed California.

I liked the word guard, but you know

we made each other
nervous, standing too close

for everyone concerned. All art being 

a form of violence
as a peony 
is violence. 

Here you come

with your open hands. 

Copyright © 2013 by Louise Mathias. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on November 20, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.