The Artist

California red was everywhere
a feverish light swallowing 
all our days as we drove 
on the freeway going toward 
or farther away from home 
until it became a question of who 
had the lovely recipe
for this stream flaming 
the twilight sides of our lives 
who planned these scarlet eyes
to gaze back at us knowing
the rains couldn’t soften or close
them with its wet humming 
up and down along the hillsides 
then someone on the radio claimed 
it’s an artist with no money
he came back to town a month ago
to look for his botanist girl 

only she fell in love with someone 
else but forgot to tell him 
her old lover standing there everyday
on the side of the freeway with cardboard 
signs in his paint spattered shoes 
and those crazy tattoos 
of small broken bones 
falling down his naked chest
and his desire to find her find her
find her and tell her he knows
how to love her and copy right nature