Blue

See my colors fall apart? Green
to yellow with just one shade gone,
the changing tints of your sun-struck eyes,
if there were sun. Today the prism held to mine’s

a prison, locking in the light. In one of those mirrors
the colors are true. In one of these pictures the pigment’s
my own. The sound there is aquarelle and indigo,
and dripping distant water, the day’s habitual failure

to be anything substantial. Today a blank like color
by numbers, filled in with fog that frames the lake
in transient tones. That’s the color I mean, some mist
painting the shore pastel and pointillist

rain, painting the shadow between window and light. Today
each hue dissolves in humid air, transparency
I try to grasp and then let go, clear overflow
of waves on gravel. The mist with its single-dipped brush

smears itself across the canvas of the pines.
The pines, knowing no better, run together on a morning
palette. Today the scene’s dismantled, that can’t be
dismissed. I once was blind, but now

I see my landscape attenuate itself, drowned lake
of evergreens. On a morning like this with new crayons
I drew a man, that red valentine
in the side. The picture of two hands scrawling the outline

where only one thing’s missing; the crayons scattering
from childish fingers. Color me or leave me vacant

by Reginald Shepherd

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