For George

In fourth grade, our teacher
noticed we were the only two
who could carve, draw, and paint.

She took us to the museum
and before El Greco,
we looked at each other and knew

we were standing before
a painting of terror and awe.
His tormented brushstrokes,

even the way blue died
into his titanium white
initiated us.

I can’t forget your crooked grin,
or your rooster-tail hair,
the way you argued for “more beauty.”

I can’t forget, because
first you sold stolen wristwatches,
then it was cars, then guns.

You’re in jail now, an El Greco,
hanging on a brick wall
while lightning flashes behind you.

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