All Too Familiar

All Too Familiar

All Too Familiar 1920 1440 Marley Stuart

—after a painting by Douglas Bourgeois


Woman stands in front of woman, one in purple
underwear, the other ghosted blue, naked, crazy
psychedelic wallpaper showing through
her breasts and pubic hair and two perfect feet
tight together on the shag rug, a glass
of wine broken and spilled between them
and grass growing up from the floorboards.
This one draws us more than the others. Why?
Because you do see your death at the most
unexpected moments, even changing,
spilling wine? Or maybe it’s just the colors.
We look for a while, then go for drinks.
The gallery lights shut off and the women face
each other in the dark as we pass again without looking
on our way back to the streetcar. Halfway home,
jounced awake between stops, they come back
all too familiar, any two people at any time.
One leaves the room, grows old and dies. The other stays.

Header photograph © Jason D. Ramsey.

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