i’ll be better than my own worst critic

my fingers are starting to bleed.

at this point i’ve been painting for hours and my knuckles have cracked open and blood that was once red has been replaced by murky paint of mixed feelings,
i’m covered in ink and pin pricks of blunt needles,
my hands are cramping and my eyes are dry,
the day has long turned into a long night. 

but i’m finishing this painting.

it’s not a call for attention when i arrive at school tomorrow and, you can tell that my eye bags say it all, 
i clutch the paper with trembling fingers because i’ve put so much of my own something into the pencil lines and paint splatters that, 
i kind of want to destroy it,
and,
mark that up to creative destruction,
look my teacher in the eye, 
just lower her expectations        of me that bit more, 
feeling some kind of satisfaction, 
to see the frown lines appear 
in numerous variations, 
to grimly smile at them in spite.

but i care too much for that. 
nothing hurts me more than, 
taking “constructive criticism”
on the chin and them expecting 
some kind of improvement 
from a rendering of my soul.

there’s just something about the way art flourishes under every emotion, 
happiness in mediterranean tones,
whereas loneliness dances 
a quiet blue symphony 
of shadows, 
but nothing quite catches 
the attention like the bitterness of pure red anger. 
nothing quite spikes the temper like emotions toned crimson, 
every shade a different fury, 
from hot tears of outrage 
to the simmering animosity that lurks under a smile
every painting i create eventually has tinges of red,
the helplessness that lingers, 
like lightning that sizzles in the air after a storm,
unbecoming. 

the red, whether it’s paint or blood this time I cannot tell, 
seeps into the darkest corners of my painting. 
my knuckles throb in a rhythm akin to my headache 
and I realise dimly that:
this is my true masterpiece. 
the paint that drips 
from the cracks in my knuckles tells me so
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