MAPPLETHORPE TO SMITH
I passed from life. You wept. In death we’re slow
as a bad phonecall buzzing on the line.
I was your muse of sorts as you were mine
along with dicks and flowers. I still know
that much. I have a sense of light and shade
that stays with me. Absence is hard to bear
simply not knowing what’s no longer there.
Heaven and hell is judging what I made
if I remember. You in that white shirt
boy girl I should have fucked more than I did.
It’s all the printing. That’s my skill that hid
so many flaws. I could make piles of dirt
look like a Rembrandt. Beauty’s in the grain
I’m past. Flickers of images remain.