the poet who wished to be a painter

I love the poet who does not know that they are good,
but writes for ten years straight and does not speak a word.
I love the poet—
his grainy face pulled through my ears,
like a girl gathering yarn
in a field of burs.
I love his pistol
thrust out from my throat,
aiming at women walking by—
like a parade of shepherds
being followed
by a cleanup crew of goats.
I love his wine, his coffee, and his miraculous pride—
and that he fears returning home
will be his wild red salmon grave.
But he beats at the current
that carries him away
and inches his words
toward the place
that he came.
I love the poet—
because he wished to be a painter,
but the world only respects
which has come direct from a teacher.

But I love him still,
like a boy to his glove—
throwing snowballs at the world,
while his hands stay smooth and warm.

written on 05/13/2010 by: Matt Kane