Perfumes, hues, and sounds echo one another.
Nature as pillared temple – I’ll go along,
even accept that columns speak,
though the words are mumbled, muted.
Yes to perfumes mellow as oboes – maybe malachite-blue? –
or perfumes depraved as horns, yellow as tamarind wood.
Crimson for Sousa’s brass and shine,
and for Bessie Smith, scales of hues ascending violet to red
with chromatic half-tones: yellow-orange, chartreuse.
Consider a red-brick church in New Orleans
that barely stands, flood line ten feet high.
A boy with a cello cracked at the bridge
stares at heat rising to stained glass boarded shut.
If I paint this scene in oils, viscous as pitch,
can I make the rosin sing?
If light travels faster than sound,
can I measure the cost of a blink?