When he told her she was a work of art,
he did not mean that she was a work of art.
What he meant to say was
you remind me of a time when I was seven-years-old and my mother took me to a museum in the city. Dad wasn’t gone yet and Mom still smiled and all was okay. On that day, I saw a painting of a mermaid playing on the shore, her woman’s torso on the sand and her amethyst scales underwater as the sun struck her in brilliant, golden lines. She was more fluid and alive to me than my own body. In that moment, the painting and my mother and my youth together sculpted within me a collage of splendid color, and now you too have evoked my mind’s rainbow.
He called her a work of art — she called him a pig.