On viewing a painting

Last night a character from one of my plays visited me in my sleep. Let’s call it a vision. She told me, “Ray, the play is cool and all, but I need you to write something about me, alone, all by myself, without the other characters. A sonnet, perhaps.” I said, “OK, but what would you like me to write?” She said, with a lot of sass, “I came all the way here, doggone it (not her exact words), just write what you see.” Here is what came out when I woke up, before coffee:

The painting included a nude subject,
a woman of immense beauty, seated
at a table having coffee. The steam
slowly rises from her cup (I love how
the painter captured that!). Her left hand
holds a fountain pen – she writes a letter –
perhaps to a distant lover, maybe
to her child away at college. She stares
out into space – a pregnant thought commands
her attention. Her thoughts leave the canvas
and mingle with my own as I am drawn
into her world. She must work out, such tone
in her muscular limbs. I back away –
distance and perspective change what I see.

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