Marc Chagall conjures a circus –
breathe in that hectic glee, he says.
So I – shaped in painterly ways,
a whiff of exotic places – breathe.
Where is the lion tamer? I ask.
Henri Rousseau tempts a tigress,
not shy or sly, her devouring grin
about to pounce on prey beyond
the frame. Startled, a voyeur sweats
in tropical heat. I want to flee.
Henri Matisse dreams a smiling cat,
a harbour where whispers anchor
restless boats. There’s a bowl of fruit
basking in citrus light. The green hour
of la fée verte I bottle up.
And find you lounging on the divan,
sleepy head on a yellow pillow,
your limbs as white as Franz Marc’s cat.
Am I hearing that wormwood purr?
I offer you a jigsaw piece.
Phil Wood was born in Wales. He has worked in Education, Shipping, and a biscuit factory. His writing can be found in various publications, including: The Lampeter Review, Runcible Spoon, London Grip, Califragile.