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Henessey And Oranges

It's something to do with their being alive,
what these oranges (and leaves, your arm
lightly silked in sunlight) do with light,
returning it so purely (like the stuff of haloes)
that light can't decide if it's been reflected
or passed through a transparency, a blush
of orange transfusing blue air--

for nothing could be more luminous
without turning mirror or window or gem,
but these are oranges (packed to bursting
with tiny translucent sacs), alive:

They neither reflect nor transmit,
but like leaves, ingest light and extract
its quintessence and with it glow.

The bottle, for all its complexity,
is easier for light to understand
than these simple oranges: I can
hear light now proudly explaining
the finer points of technique:

Those slatey blue strokes, warm highlights
on glass and booze (which wants
to slosh), rich marble of light and shade
on the cloth...--but light is struck dumb
by the wholeness of the oranges, as if,

looking long at his child's sleeping face,
a father should be on the verge of seeing
his own father.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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