Oil Spot

Oil Spot
BY Josie Gray
for Josie Gray, March 23, 1924

A blue-black planet, it falls from
the chainsaw into rainwater
puddled where the earthquake
left its shoulders in the driveway,
the depression in gravel
reminding us we walk on waves,
could sink.

The droplet flings itself down, radiates
like a jellyfish unfurling its
mantle — filtrating, rippling.
At its core, a violet eye,
magenta-lashed, its milky skirting
buoyant.

Josie goes into the house
for the camera to take its portrait.
The door to beauty always
stands open. Days later he stares
at the photograph until it enters
him fully, just a spot of oil,
transforming his hand
with its paint brush
into an instrument of rainbow
approximations that begin to pale
the original.

Like a satellite moon
the eyelet center deeply shines.
Planet-Josie revolves over
it, the light of his face
also entering as he works.
Beauty passes through us
blackly shuddering, stabilizes
its revolution and, against
all expectation, begins to rise from
the undulating shape
on his page.

A heart like that
at eighty

REPRINTED FROM Artful Dodge (Vol. 46/47, © 2005) WITH THE AUTHOR’S PERMISSION

Printed from Cerise Press: http://www.cerisepress.com

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