The Voyeur

Jean-Marie Poumeyrol

I saw you clearly, as you are,
For the first time in a long while
From the perspective of the hallway
In the stillness of the afternoon
The bedroom (our bedroom) door
Wide open of any passing voyeur
To see and stare at the scene
Spot-lit by a pellucid light
Glaucous and migraine inducing
Nearly naked but of an undone bra
Twisted black satin and frilled lace
Lying almost still on the bed (our bed)
Pale flesh limpid in the peculiar glow
Your limbs entwined entangling
Intimately with his legs and arms
I flatten myself against the wall
But never for a second avert my gaze
Still my breath, strain to catch
Any stray whispered endearments
Sweet nothings or talking dirty
Hypnotic mesmerizing scandals
From this vantage point, this angle
I am unsure as to the identity
Of my lover’s lover, he could be
My brother, best friend or any
Stray random other, my betrayer
I am enraged, ashamed, enraptured
After all these years how could she?
The shame should be theirs but I’m
Intruding on an illicit secret passion
My skin burns hot with rushing blood
Perversely enjoying the raging hellfire
Of a jealously never to be quenched
Fanning ever anew with fierce delight
At the thought of this vivid tableau
Unknowingly arranged and presented
For my vast ever constant delectation,
A whole world of infinite heartbreak
In a pair of hastily cast-aside shoes.

26 thoughts on “The Voyeur

    1. For once the poem is actually based on the painting as opposed to picking an image to suit the poem. I dreamt of this painting (I have been haunted by it since I wrote about the artist) which suggested the poem. I don’t know if that devalues the poem or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Something about the light and the perspective. Also all the minor interior design motifs with sexual imagery seem like a scene from a bad dream or avant garde movie where everything is slowed down and starkly illuminated by a lurid flash.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. How time does slow, allowing this train of thought to race through the mind in a moment like this. Vivid imagery, intense emotion. Beautifully expressed. I can see how the painting captivated and inspired you. An excellent pairing of the two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the detailed comment. It was the painting, though the painting glimpses in a dream. I always aim for vivid visual concrete imagery, maybe at the expense of musicality, but I suppose you can’t have everything. Glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. The jolt of adrenaline, senses suddenly accentuated. You are hyper aware. That’s what this expresses so well. There are musical touches: brother, other, lover – that part.

        Liked by 1 person

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