The Distance Between
Sarah B. Boyle
Reader is a captivation
	of yours. She
doesn't look at you
			she is
			and soft-focus.

		The glowing nape of her neck.

The thrill of standing before
		the red thrall of her
	imagining you thinking her me.
			The romance of a stark, white gallery

		filled with the beautiful evidence that Richter
	was never Vermeer.

The day we saw Richter at the Hirshhorn and ate
rabbit at 
		—what was that restaurant?

			The distance between then
and now. The distance between 

					and Reader.

		That meal, now a smear of dim light 
	and smoked paprika,

	or blurred
						or painted over
		the distance between.

Richter in his studio, 
		painting his incandescent wife,
				his incandescent son.

	The distance between 
			Vermeer's light
				and his
obscured by the palette knife.

	There is Sabine,
		there is Moritz,
	so new he only knows to root.

		dragged through by the palette knife.

	Every slash drawing Richter farther.

There isn't Sabine,
	there isn't Moritz.

		There isn't anyone 
	but the painter
		scraping paint.
Sarah B. Boyle hails from Pittsburgh, where she lives in her childhood home with her husband and two kids. She writes poems and textbooks.