An Artist’s Job

Before I paint, I like to hold the stick between my lips and into my mouth
As if it were a cigarette
And I inhale the smell of paint
It is alive, it is addicting
And it is telling me to make something beautiful
And so I do

Before I write, I like to hold the pen’s tip against my skin
As if it were a syringe
Pretending to suck my blood in and mix it with ink
I can feel the red blood cells rushing to meet the pen
It makes me feel alive
And it is telling me to make something beautiful
And so I do

Before I take a photo, I like to just stare into the viewfinder
As if it were a telescope
And I look for the most intricate details of my subject, like looking at stars
I want to see all of its starlight before I capture it
It is telling me to make something beautiful
And so I do

Before I make love to you, I will hold you close to me
As if you were a blanket— No
Not as if you were a blanket, or a syringe or anything
I will hold you close to me as you are
You smell wonderful
There is no pretending here, the blood cells rush to everywhere our skin touches
I have always seen your starlight
And I don’t need to make you beautiful
Just like I never made my paintings or my writing or my photographs beautiful
They are beautiful for the very reason that they exist
And so are you
And so no one tells me to make something beautiful
Because an artist’s job is to uncover everything that is beautiful
And so I do

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