Pastel, soft pastel between thumb and fingers
roll in the hand, seek for the grain, powder of perfection.
A dusting of colour shades her skin, edges the nails
dyes the quick.
A flash of the heel of her hand smudges her brow,
blesses her temple.
Gentle woman bent to woman. To exist they must meet
not as friends nor equals; the one is nothing
without the other. Between them this fragile pastel —
a pastille, a pound remedy, a remedy pounded.
The gentle woman a gentlewoman to the end of her finger tips
now brushing the fragments of colour across the teeth
of the paper. Fleck after fleck the figure emerges
quietly beneath the gaze of the other.