On the painting 'The Chariot Race' by Alexander Wagner.
The ferrules of foam alight the eyes
Amidst the cries crushed under foot
Yet replies roam through the crouching crowd
And toil and strife are dashed to dust.
Gilded gold hung that gross assemblage
Where we stared up at a poured-blue sky
Under which fingernails clung to shred at sand,
That salt of tears – my lips were dry…
parted with the click of halting wheels
The clatter and chatter woven into words –
‘Tell me what you think,’ My words were weak,
To a painting which still went unheard.
For your head was bent, your shoulders braced
In the cold which fell between us both
And blistered in a horses hell
On a canvas cut with spite and love.
The flanks which twisted under force
Flickered and gasped as the smile attempted
And died, as your fingers thick in a fist
Squeezed to a dull pain all of fond remembering.
For my hand reached into space
And stopped at that bleak imperial stare
A thumb down, and my aching cheek
At paint flowing in the thoroughfare.