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These are colors on canvas.
(Did you know shadows on grass
were a darkly electric green?)
As soon as they sense your presence,
they cluster around you, begging:
"Give us your irises!" "Give us
your hedges!" "Give us your lawns,
your trees, your huddled shadows
stretching toward the light!"
"Give us your sense of space,
of being at a point in space,
of objects radiating outward
like pearls strung on lines extended
from the point you define. Give us
your feelings, the magic with which
light gives you the excuse
to infuse your neighborhood
one spring morning."
Please, just ignore these beggars
(They ruin all the best canvases!)
and they'll go away. You have your
universe. Why should you need
to give it to a painted canvas
in order to find it there
in order to find it where
it already is?
If you give them the least thing, if,
even, looking at that pinkish path,
you imagine it brick, imagine
you look down toward your feet--
why they'll never stop, these colored
forms, they won't let you go until
you've given them everything!
October 6, 2002