On Flegel’s Dessert Still Life
In a still life with grapes and other points of interest,
the eye goes to a glass chalice on a tabletop,
notices how those grapes glisten, though not more so
than the chalice, sparked by ceremonies of light;
how just a few arcs of white, scrapings really,
stoke our curiosity.
You almost have to dip a finger in to find out
if it’s empty or not, so fragile is the distinction
between glass and wine.
Ask yourself if we aren’t like that, holding emptiness
in an invisible embrace, downing it
in a thirst for light.
But this is only part of the picture.
That stilted parrot, for instance, why is it robed
in the varnished dark?
The white dot on the eye of the mouse
offers a glimmer of an answer.
Is it greed that gives the gray mouse its appetite
for sticky fruits and nutmeats?
Or is it desire, the dark in the light that enthralls us
and gives us weight?
This poem previously appeared in Jerome Gagnon's collection, Rumors of Wisdom (Concrete Wolf Press.)
Jerome Gagnon has worked as a teacher, tutor, and freelance journalist. A graduate of San Francisco State University’s Creative Writing Program, his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poet Lore, Spiritus, Modern Haiku, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. The author of Rumors of Wisdom from Concrete Wolf Press, and Spell of the Ordinary from Finishing Line Press, he lives in Northern California. www.jeromegagnonblog.wordpress.com
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