Blue and Green Music

Kendra DeColo


after the painting by Georgia O'Keefe


Because the ocean distilled
            to its follicle
                        is fire, you know god

must speak in texture
            as much as music—a blue
                        so precise it wounds

the tongue, a dazzling
            in the ruins of a sidewalk
                        where shoots ricochet up
like vernaculars of dawn.
            Tonight I'm in the crowd
                        aching to enclose

the woman stripping off
            petals of stolen light,
                        to touch the rim

of static around her
            before nakedness
                        is another closing

door. If pleasure is its own
            redemption, what cannot
                        be asked but given
into, what have I come for
            if not to be touched
                        but unseen?

When we lived together
            my sister returned
                        each night laced

in dregs of glitter
            to study after long shifts
                        of letting customers buy her
drinks, never telling them
            her real name. Now I understand
                        what keeps us whole
is the face of daylight
            after hours underground, how
                        it meets the eye

straight on like a woman
            kneeling to gather  
                        what you've needed
to give. My sister
            called herself Ruby,
                        blurring the space around her
like a myth. Or maybe the myth
            is snow falling outside
                        of a club, her body

untouched by the precision
            of notes wincing
                        in her hair, bright

as an alarm in the dusk, how I still need
            to imagine her lit with silence
                        before rising

 into another song, the color
            of light escaping a body, the blue-green eye
                        at the center of a flame.