When I saw the quadrangle
of your face done up in the style of Andy Warhol
I thought of Mao. Not Monroe.
In the lower right corner was your name
proving you remember the skills you learned
earning your art degree
before you chose a quicker path
to fame and fortune
and the decadence that tags along.
I knew I was on camera outside your door
but not inside each room
as we discussed an exhibition of Dürer prints.
Your patterned wallpaper with rows and rows
of Adam Smith and dollar signs
made unrecognizable to me the world you live in now
compared to our days at University
and the answers you stole from my test sheets
to get through that economics distribution credit.
At your kitchen counter you strained the flecks
out of the Goldschläger
before you served it on the rocks.
That cinnamon burn released your tongue
to critique the ink stains on my fingers
and why your understanding of Darwin
does not explain how artists
refrain from starving to death long enough
for the current culture to lean into their vision.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney