The first time you painted me, my dress was red.
Your fingers reached underneath to find new colors with wide brush strokes along the ivory canvas of my thigh.
You found soft pinks and blues and soon after sharper shades, like orange and green.
And then you found the red.
You took the red from me, extracting it from white wistfulness and silvery sighs, turning it darker and heavier with the magic of your brush.
You created a new world of color in me.
The last time you painted me, my dress was white.
Not that white wistfulness.
Not white like first fallen snow or doves of peace.
Not the white of a wedding gown or a newborn lamb.
No, it was the white that sails above ships who have lost their bearing.
That white that waves with a dull sad yielding—signaling enemies that their time has come to be overcome.
You blanched those pinks and blues and oranges and greens in me.
And even the red—especially the red.
But those colors will forever lay somewhere deep underneath the whitewash you spread over the once-loved shades.
For it is hard for a painted canvas ever to be fully covered, and impossible for it to be erased.