Impermanent Ink (Blue Period)

You sent me the self-portrait in a card once, maybe 1980.

You are lying on your stomach, propped up on your elbows,

a book open before you, as you stare out a set of floor-to-ceiling French windows.

Your cat sits to left of you, and your legs point toward the foot of your bed, crossed.

You are dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and blue jeans.

Everything is blue, drawn in blue pen, you, famously, in your blue pen period.

I’ve lost it, a failed curator, the original gone forever.

Each time I picture your drawing, however, I can redraw it.

Each time it is nearly the same, a passable reproduction of your masterpiece.

Each time I play a game, change the book from German, to physics, to Shakespeare.

Each time I draw it, I render you, especially, with great care.

I trace the blue lines of you over and over in my mind.

And the cat.

I make very sure I get your blue cat right, too.

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