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To really hear what I’m about to say
Is probably impossible apart
From taking in the painting at its heart.
From reeling, in the process, at the way
The blood, beyond its trickling down his brow,
Has gotten in his vitreum somehow.

How otherwise explain the ruinous
Red of his eyes? If that isn’t the saddest sight
Ever . . . If you differ, quite all right,
Although another seemed to see it thus:
Some woman standing not a foot from me
Before a paragon of agony.

The shaking of the head it brought her to . . .
I’d like to think you wouldn’t take amiss
My feeling an affinity with this
So massive it was all that I could do,
Knowing I daren’t totally enfold her,
Not to put an arm around her shoulder.

—Daniel Brown