Standing beside you, looking at the Water Lillies
at the Art Institute. Monet obsessed with his
pond at Giverny. The shuffle of light. Pads
emerald on the shore. Rough brush strokes.
The hues of midday sun and endless sunset,
precise in Monet’s vigilance, reflect the love
Monet had for Alice Hoschedé, his second wife.
The widow of his patron, who took him in
and raised his boys after his first wife died.
Were his ordered rays and reflected desire
kept secret or did he confess to her
over absinthe at dinner one summer night
in Normandy? I hope he took it to the grave.
The best things are those kept close to the
heart. Like this moment in Chicago. The
secret life of a wanted man. Where no one
can find us behind the nympheas.