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Housesitting

The woman whose place
I'm staying in
is a painter

Primitive women
bare-breasted and
lovely
press themselves
against the canvases, not
quite trying to step through

I sleep on her bed
but not in it

Overhead, on the ceiling
she has painted
a glassless skylight
and the ever day
is monochrome blue
cloudless
and pigeons soar
and preen

I'm on the bed
where sleep the ghosts
of Gauguin, Magritte,
and Ernst

I like the overall effect
but I worry about
the droppings