Sad, painted lovers,
portrayed as right Romeo, left Juliet.
Eyes cast downward
in front of a marble alter,
in a fifteenth century church.
No cipher of a wedding,
yet an impression of
one final embrace.
Whose deliberate brush strokes
captured this eternal?
they left no trace.
This intrigues me.
Draws me closer,
close enough to see the surface cracks.
My eye follows the lavender stripes in Juliet's dress,
from her bodice to her hem,
one line whispers to be seen.
Unlike time's fissures in oil paint,
this long bending curve ends in a curl.
Was it raised or recessed?
Compelled, I run my finger along it,
discovering a single strand of human hair,
mystery key to unlock the painter's identity.
For a moment I wondered who to tell,
art historians would want questions answered,
DNA evidence linked to once peaceful graves.
Unknown made known.
If the artist never signed, and left only
a strand of hair behind,
eluding from an ending
that now would never be…
I walked away smiling,
“Your secret lives and dies with me.”
(c) 2005 Marissa Dodge