Maria Considers Her Husband’s Painting, The Dream
"Battles, wounds, motions, all appear so mystical."
-Franz Marc’s letter from the front, 16 February 1916
His horses pour through meadows of red; those may be
poppies. A river that starts at Verdun, it seems
and flows backwards through canvas.
In dreams, there's no perspective.
The sleeping woman wrapped in vermillion must be weary from her labours
weaving walls to hold the light when the yellow house falls.
We see the lion in the corner, or he sees us, those slashing eyes.
The sky would be black and soundless. It reminds me of the dark inside a child's fist.
Unperturbed, the blue horses dream the woman
who is dreaming them. Notice her tilt as though
the tree can't hold her, and look, her foot is melting,
unfinished. The last work before he left.
Still the horses seem to me an ocean of contentment.
A letter from the front arrived--he says he's painting canvases
to camouflage the stables. What stroke is protection from guns
at 20,000 feet? Blue used to mean the spiritual.
Perhaps he should try the late style of rain. He says spring is coming on;
and we must purify the world. Why do you imagine he always closes the eyes
of the blue horses?
Kim Hamilton has published in Spillway, Switched-On Gutenberg, DMQ Review, and Raven Chronicles. In 2014, her collaboration with artist Carolyn Krieg, Visitation, was published. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Kim Hamilton holds an MFA from Warren Wilson and writes, edits and teaches poetry in Southern Oregon.
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