Poetry Practice

The Problem of Describing Color
after Robert Hass


If there were no way to see the silken
pines that trace scratches on my windowpane
late in the swallow-tail night

if there were no way to say anything at all
about lakewater after rain
(briny, bass-fresh
glowing like roe)

foaming minty scrum from the waves
scuttled up the rocks: skin soft,

if light not light enough for grass stripped
from itself, plowed under the John Deere
folded into fragrant bales of green

darkness not dark enough for the inside
of a cathedral, woolen incense cutting
shadows of stained-glass saints

fronds stripped from Carolina palms
for whip-thin crosses passed down the pew—

ask about resurrection, he told me.
Ask about the way things begin to grow again.



















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