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Red Crane, Martinique
Would the tiny yellow-slickered man
hang so lightly
in his white cloud of spray
from the top tip of his fire-engine-
red crane if he could see, lower right,
the limp red hieroglyphic zig-zag
dangling into the harbor?
And would the yellow-funneled ship
rest so easily
on its one sagging arch
of red mooring line
if it knew itself buoyed up
by a trick of light?
The building persuades itself
of its solidity by presenting
a large expanse of bland beigeness.
The black bulk of hull says heavy,
the crane's shiny straightness
says, trust me, all these things
stand forth in their strong colors,
crying: "I'm real!", but the water,
with no color of its own, turns
crane, ship, and building
into airy shimmer, while far behind
a blue mountain studies the clouds.
October 5, 2002