Bright white sharp teeth open
and shut, for years she sat
chained to this madman, who
howled at me jealously, biting
like a wild dog at whoever came
close to our Ethiopian Pearl.
I convinced her to let him go.
We were young, hand in hand.
I would do anything for her and
she for me. She gave me a pearl
once and I hid it in my jacket
pocket for over a year.
I painted a still life for her
in our home with large windows
on each side (more than a dab of
windows), the bedroom a place to
dream and relax in the sun and
watch the gnarled pear trees grow.
I remember the day she began
to fade. She had to become
white. Her badly bleached hair
cheap and yellow. Her beautifully
sculpted nose captured in a metal
brace. Lovely full lips now cut