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Afternoon in a Claude Glass


A grasshopper stares at me backward, to soothe his painter's eye.
He lives on thin ice.
Counting his steps to a wet leaf, like a mathematician in training he is
    adamant
That it take exactly two thousand until he arrives and bows
Amazed at it being there, bravely still cupping an oval of water, so long
    after rainfall.
I am green when seen in reflection, as the rocks and the sky are green,
    as everything is
Made darker and darker by the apocalyptic tinting in this liquid dusk
That seems not to bother the grasshopper at all, but instead calm him into
    lying down
Sphinx-like on his spindle thighs, content with the end of the too big,
    too bright.
He nods approvingly at the dying of his world into a painting,
Looks on coolly as Sequoias plunge down to their cheap silhouettes,
Drowned and neutered because, he reasons,
This is the price and recompense of perfect weather.


Bessie Golding

Prodigal

Winter 2017


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