• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 08
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For Jean Cooke

No red vibrant enough to feel the rush of blood through your veins
nor any yellow that could make your spine shake.
A shade of brown never moved anyone to art or song,
but just a touch of heat on the nose and cheeks so we might know
she’s allowed herself out into the world with only a nod to the blasted sun--
the hat is plain enough and not worn in a way
that might cause talk among the neighbors.
Instead she offers us greens and greys
that might have been washed and put through a wringer.
And she is not much for trees, and who would
when eyes might serve to speak for trees, and even time and space.

Leonardo walked the streets of Milano and Firenze
and observed the cool fires of the street revels
and priests who would look to the sky and thus make light of the heavens.
But he knew well the wear that the centuries were bound to make.
Color, he told a woman-friend with enigmatic smile,
with whom he might have shared a dalliance,
is worth so much less compared to eyes
that can see through the wall they’re painted on.