Brooke Bailey

Appreciating Art

If Georgia O’Keeffe paintings could be
translated into topographical maps,
lips raised from the canvas of the body
with ridges of edible raspberry paint

I would coax the bulb of your Red Canna lily
to flower with lips that could only belong
to a garden whisperer, tease the petals
of your Oriental Petunia and have them
stretching further towards the warmth
of my hands in the sun.  I would unearth

your virgin Calla lilies, make them blush,
no longer fit to hide in white on a Sunday
when their pollen is spread from my hip to my lips,
my hair post-coital and wild like the roots
I untangled and lifted to prove you didn’t have
to hide there where it felt safe in the darkness.

You’re more pure than those
giving flowers I’m usually drawn to—the
honeysuckles that exist to live at the tip
of my tongue, yes you’re quiet but you’re

beautiful, a painting of a woman come to life
in spring colored lace, your dark legs spread,
a work of art I’m eager to pin against the wall
and take the time to linger in front of, fingering
the texture of each brush stroke that created you
until you melt back down to your essence and
stain the hands I work inside you.

Brooke Bailey works, studies, and caffeinates at North Carolina State University. In recent past lives, she has been a corporate trainer and a high school English teacher.