And God will pardon Paul Claudel
Although he sent Camille to hell.
Artists sleep with their models and paint
Their lovers, fall in love and fall again.
Women are always in their lives.
Art needs love, as life needs rain.
When he ascends to that white-hot space
Where the Gods control his hands,
Prudence (that rich, ugly old maid)
Does not exist in his universe.
Painting after painting flows through his fingers
When he turns from his easel, love
Is not an option; it is inevitable.
His lover drinks his overflowing power.
Their life’s a collage of trysts and secrets,
A tapestry of myths, vacationing in Candyland.
But in the end she cannot live
In the furnace where
The Tyger’s brain is forged.
Someday he’ll have a new model
And life comes second.
So she returns to where she lives,
To husband, children, work.
But she thinks of him
And, sometimes, still loves him.
And all you Philistines,
Is it more important
That he slept with your wife
Or that he made her