Ascending the Greek drama of very wide steps
that seem granite in western Kansas City.
Eventually facing doors of mood-harming glass.
Inside, complex halls of frames holding paintings.
Others are milling about and appear too real.
Why are they so solid and what are their lives?
Afternoon enjoyment is wounded by the mere attempt.
Octagonal rooms, blithe mocking light, people with gravity.
A cigarette would taste or be good before facing a painting.
Here is something from the Barbizon School.
But the white flecks suggesting wildflowers
in the lazy French countryside of older time
are just too much to look at, and they injure!
Are those flecks rather hints of bone in grasses
of a meadow growing wild in hours of forgetting?
Cracked open light and lavender garden shadows
impress with brushed audacity, and neurotc irises
receive too much of presence and of beauty.
Here is an Edvard Munch, so quiet in dark hues.
An alluring woman stands before an evening lake.
The contours of refined melancholy and volumes
of eccentric expression should please a casual visitor.
But in this viewing, a drama of great hushed crisis --
that young woman smiling a poem breaks into time,
leaving presentiment of a face in the future, a visage
and distant voice become real in later haunted days.
It's time to leave now, drive away in crestfallen colors.
Things have come to pass since those years ago.
Who knew that paintings could be that powerful?
Loved ones have gone to bone, and being is too much.
That liquid woman appeared, in a distance of poems.