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self-portait
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.

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