Audience of One

the beautiful

L'exactitude n'est pas la verite.
--Henri Matisse

Caught up in the roof
there are leaves in the skylight
and, in the pool this morning,
clouds. Someone must decide.

There is a border of flowers
and a snarl of wild flowers
among them giving over to weeds
beneath the trees in half-leaf.

The decision, whether to leave
or remove, is moot
when working indelible colors in
retentive media: when

Miles Davis muffed a note
in the 8th measure of his solo
on "Blue in Green",
in 1959, he left it
just the way he played it;

in ninety years' Chi Bai Shi's
hsieh-i of bindweed,
a bamboo stalk wavers
where his hand trembled
over a moment of youthful folly;

and in Wallace Steven's heaven,
just as in New Haven,
no blossoms ever have
kept their bloom. Now,

there is something to decide,
a question to answer about
something important, something
gathering in the half-light.

Kevin Cornwall © All rights reserved.

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