To the Woman on the Bridge
I will paint you as you are standing,
on the bridge over the river flowing
beside my bedroom window, facing
a horizon pearled and smoky,
the pale flares of a winter parting.
Lips soft as moral ground, ashamed
to pray. Critic of this violet dusk,
thinking “the shadows don’t swallow
enough of the light.” I will paint
an orange scarf, oil-rich, around
your neck. I will find your neck
slowly. I will paint with my thumbs.
And because of kindness and to
punish, I will also paint a man.
Nicole Zdeb is a writer based in Portland, OR. She holds a MFA from Iowa Writers' Workshop. Nicole works in poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms. Bedouin Books published her chapbook, "The Friction of Distance."