So, yeah, that’s the last one there.  None of them
are perfect, of course, none exactly to my tastes, really,
but I’m no artist, so I just let him do his own artsy thing.  

Like my last one for instance, see?  She’s beautiful,
yes, but that earring, don’t you see how it steals
the focus?  You’re more interested in the earring
than you are in her.  I don’t like that.  And what’s with
the blue headscarf?  That’s gotta go.  All the wrong
things are emphasized.  And she never wore jewelry
or scarves.  It’s all made up.

And that one there, as another example,
she’s beautiful, yes, but why the pitcher?
Again, I don’t understand the artist’s focus.
But, hey, he’s good at what he does, even though
the pitcher’s gotta go.  He should have moved
closer to her.  I wanna see their faces.  Otherwise
I might forget all of them, you know?
He needed to zoom in there.
No table, no food.
All of it.

Just her face.

If I could have done these myself, they’d all be headshots,
so when they’re all lined up on the wall like this,
you see them all perfectly.

All of them . . . gone now.

Now that last one down there at the beginning is different.
She’s the first one, you know.  See how there’s nobody
actually in it?  It’s a still-life.  But with this one,
I know she’s just outside the frame.  So am I.

See the orange?
We peeled many an orange together, my friend,
if you know what I mean.
And see the apples, how they’re untouched?
We always avoided them.  Never cared for apples.
They weren’t the only fruit.  The oranges were for us.

I’m the beer there, she’s the wine. See?

I love most the way he put the still-life
within the still-life, hanging on the wall there, see?
It would be even better if he’d done
another still-life hanging on the wall of that one,
and then one on the wall in that one
and then one on the wall in that one, and
well, you get it right?  We peeled
a lot of oranges, man.

Let me tell you, it’s true, you never forget the first one.
I don’t need to see her face.  Hell, it’s burned in
my memory.  She was good, you know what I mean.
We had so much energy . . .

Of course, we were both young.

The more recent ones, they’re not a bunch of old ladies,
certainly, but they’re just not her, not the youth, the vigor.

In fact, sometimes I think all the rest
could be blank canvasses compared to her.
But that would look silly, right?
That one still-life down at that end, and then the rest
a bunch of blank canvasses.

Why I obsess over that woman, I tell you, I don’t know.

So anyway, it’s quite a gallery, don’t you think?
All of them.  I did love them all.

But there was none as good as the first.

This one?  Oh, yes, it’s his idea of a joke.
Something he did in between wives.
He said that I was going to end up
the world’s oldest woodpecker
in a forest of no trees.
That made me laugh.
Well, if you don’t know . . .

Next to the one of my first true love
who, so ironically, right, isn’t even in the frame,
the woodpecker one’s my favorite still-life.

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