detail : blue face
s k y a
b o v e c l o u d s
: m o n i c a p a c e
Until I noticed that painting and knew what to expect
I surmised they were inseparable. I had seen only
the underbellies, of clouds, shorn clean
by perhaps the wings of birds.
Above hid that renounced sky.
And then I stumbled mildly upon it:
like a pebble, but with a glass edge that bored into my heel.
The painting by an old woman who painted
until the day she died. A sky-scape.
She had grown incrementally abstract. Her clouds
funny little ovals. Pieces puzzled down.
And then I began to understand:
There is a way to reverse the usual
algorithm of the sky. I boarded a transatlantic flight,
home. And below my narrow portal
hundreds of cumulonimbus crouched and sailed.
Gigantic icebergs swimming in that taut,
sun-chilled marble of a cobalt sky.
No arms, no tender branches: think
of the callow truths you would upend
if you could see only the roots of trees.