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We know it is silver and precious
because wherever it isn't a dull grey,
it makes a shimmery mess out of
three fine apples and anything else
(a window, I think, and...is it a person?)
from which it can cadge a light.
Untarnished silver--we cherish it
as we cherish water, for its modesty,
for its willingness to be absent
from itself, to be its surroundings,
to be another realm of light in which
its surroundings can seek depth, innerness.
This pitcher has at least two insides:
Inside the outside, little cunning world
behind the looking glass, where light
pauses, stretches itself, reflecting;
and its own "real" inside, a cauldron
brewing a stew of shadows, tipped
with a chill flicker. Hard to believe
that dark gunmetal inside is behind
the bright red and blue depths of surface.
Reflection is a two-way game. These apples,
for instance, seem aware of their silver
mirror, tinged by it. And you--
are you touched by all these gleamings?
Do you give any back, bring this painting's
life to light? Do your eyes contain
in their round dark circle three tiny apples,
a pitcher, and a reflection of its
reflections? And is there a dark inside
to you that is inside the reflection's
inside? Innermost? Or merely most unlit.
October 6, 2002