The Painter’s Wife

painter's wifeThe poet had been sleeping with the painter’s wife for three months when, in a wave of guilt, he confessed everything. The three never spoke again. But the painter’s wife went on to become a physicist of world renown, author of equations that helped explain the formation of matter, recipient of many awards and honors. At age 72, she heard that the poet and the painter had died on the same day many years before. That evening she wrote out the story of her life, beginning with the words “The poet had been sleeping with the painter’s wife–”


Brian Castleberry served as co-editor for the fiction collection Richmond Noir (Akashic Press, 2010) and currently teaches creative writing and literature at the College of William & Mary. His work has been featured by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Euphony, Barnstorm, and other literary journals.


Photo credit: Mark Kaletka


3 Responses to “The Painter’s Wife”

  1. Bunmi Oke says:

    Great work. I like how the whole story felt like a loop due to the sameness of the ending and the beginning.

  2. key says:

    made me smiled at the end.

  3. R. Teel says:


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