Bedroom at Arles
I once lived in a Van Gogh bedroom. Paint
peeling off the walls, a view to nowhere.
A small table, one straight-back chair,
a single bed with red cover. A rough wooden
floor. On the wall, hung a chipped mirror.
A green door opened to the small closet.
One of my artist friends said he was glad
he didn’t have to live there.
It took Van Gogh to paint it—for me, young
and on my own—to know what I had. That
I lived in a place a genius would’ve painted.
He would have seen the shapes and colors,
the placement of things, my blue dress
hanging on a nail on the wall.
First published: Kansas City Voices, Vol. 12. August 2014