It was a clear night in Toronto.
The moon shone unto the wood floorboards
like a delicate child attempting a waltz.
The young Madonna cleared her throat,
and the canvas paused,
the brush stroking her finery back into position.
The water faucet trickled—
some water for her head, her face,
even the array of plants
created an oasis against the darkwood.
Now violet and watery,
her eyes glanced about, turning into huge rims.
Astor, in his eloquence, the loft his backdrop,
struck a medieval chord—
he painted on canvas
the Sainte Maria model,
but a street woman with long mahogany hair,
who stood on the corner.
Under a lamppost it worked
exceedingly well in moonlight,
so he lit a candle in the window
and kept her up all night.
Straight and tall, she reeled,
orchestral and divine, and
his mother’s dress did nothing
to faze her simplicity.