Self Portrait

By KEFAS B

 If I could paint myself!!!

If I could paint myself I would start with my navel

And my mother.

On a fountain of white silks,

Golden threads and

Red lips

I would paint my brother

To my right.

The greatest love of my life.

And his patience.

Next to him, I would paint me at age 5.

Heels, dresses and wigs.

A mirror

in the bathroom.

Monologues and choreographies in silence.

I would paint shadows of me

at 6-7 and 8 years old,

When maybe I was more myself

Than never ever since.

If I could paint myself.

If I could paint myself

I would paint my eyes,

It’s fears and shames.

And a child with grown-up sins.

If I could paint myself,

I would paint me painting Dali

Painting himself,

when he thought he was a girl

At 6 years old,

And under the sea blanket,

Two dogs fucking…prematurely

If I could paint myself

I would paint in hopeful red

The words of the cowboy

Telling me I had something special

I would paint his boots and mustache

To remember I was told to be proud,

and to let the light shine

I would paint myself in his lap

listening for the first time I was something

I would paint my face in red, pinks and yellow

piercing shades of brown in my eyes

and a deep blue breath taking that moment in.

I would paint time still at that moment

before that memory got lost for decades.

If I could paint myself

I would paint a series of blows to my face

from the asshole in the sidewalk.

For free

For no reason

For fun

And the years of fear that came after.

And the burger and fries I never finished that afternoon.

And my 13 year old friends laughing it off.

If I could paint myself

I would paint 3 broken hearts.

And a decade without love.

I would paint my lips.

Tied up together with choked up words

Once for every year I’ve kept quiet.

If I could paint myself

I would paint myself in a room, in New York

Full of birthday and Christmas gifts, family pictures, summers in the sun, funerals, graduations, and conversations that never happened.

12 years of memories built through a calling card.

I could paint myself

I would paint dozens of needles and nails

Everynight in my head asking why, why, why.

And those little evil ferries whispering in my ear

Every single thing that has gone wrong.

Dropping memories I had long forgotten.

Telling me to tell myself why, why, why.

If I could paint myself

I would paint myself painting

W-H-Y all across that canvas

And setting it on fire.

Setting myself in fire.

And for this to be the last time I ask

Why why why

I would stop trying to paint myself and just be.