Bellday Books
Bellday Books
Afternoon on the Island (After Seurat)

In a distance I see her,
past families with dogs, couples under trees,
beyond a trumpet player, last drops of rain
among shadows with concrete hardness

in an instant of harmonious motion, I see her
and the scene parses into stillness of one part
of one part of one part of a moment when
objects transform to trembling specks of color

as when someone’s talking through the night
and through persistent tiredness you hear
hypnotic human drone, your vision fractured
into bits of unrelated matter, I see her
behind the patchwork yellow, patchwork green,
patchwork walkers, idlers, runners, butterfly,

in a hard-bustled dress, fitted bodice,
I see her colors swimming into orange,
pink hydrangea oval brimming hat,
looking at the rowers in the river
then turning towards me, smiling,

a woman I could love, or think of loving,
the thought like swarms of little dots
of color holding phrases holding words
holding phonemes holding elemental sounds,
confused and orderly, soothing, disconcerting,
wholes and parts, ordained and accidental,
as love is always, a new way of seeing,
a new way of not seeing.


-Marc Jampole

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