This flower's like floating
on the moon, drifting in and out
of dreams. I am a little afraid
of all this space to be myself.
From behind the petals, I see
draw strings and scaffolds,
the magician's hat. I would have
preferred uninitiated awe.
Nuclear weapons scare me still
even though Reagan is dead, the bombs broken
into pieces we could carry in our pockets.
O'Keeffe said she would make flowers so big
New Yorkers would have to stop and see
what she sees in flowers and we all know
what she sees in flowers, the delicate opening
fold upon fold, the pink blush, the way
the shapes stretch to glory.
Today O'Keeffe would do set designs for Gaga.
I got older, slower, sadder,
came down from the clouds and found
acid rain falling. I have less hope
than I did before. I feel the dark unfold.
O'Keefe might say we are smaller than we know,
the world more gracious.
Deborah Bacharach is the author of After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). Her work has appeared in Pembroke, Arts & Letters, Cimarron Review, and The Texas Review among many others. She is an editor, teacher and tutor in Seattle. Find out more about her at DeborahBacharach.com.
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