my ideal still life painting would contain
a non-microwave-safe cup and saucer,
a piece of ripened fruit, a wind up watch
with a leather band, and a book, hardbound,
with several bookmarks and tabs. On a desk.
And maybe reading glasses, depending
on the reader’s (and the painter’s) needs.
I’d stare at that canvas, and wonder
if my subject drank tea or coffee, hot
or lukewarm like I like it. I’d wonder
does the book have poetry inside it,
the bookmarks and tabs for his (her) favorite
passages. I’d hang it beside my wife’s
painting of the river ferry crossing.