Eileen R. Tabios

The Edges of Flesh Are Not Straight

After "Crystal Landscape Painting (Mountains)" (2017) by Josiah McElheny

Wasn’t it Baudelaire
who could only feel
the significance of sky
by jailing its expanse
between the edges
of parallel skyscrapers?

Manhattan might throw
up glass buildings
but can’t avoid the grey
interruptions of steel
scaffolding, no matter how
thin, as if steel can mimic air.

Thus, Dear Sapphire Sky—
dim yourself to accommodate
the light within four walls
offering a home, new to you
but a compromise you accept
because objects can be touched.

Converse with the light behind
your sudden triangles because
objects can be shaped. The light
manifests as slim glass pyramids.
Note how its air lacks scars—
how it welcomes the transformation
of image into a physical relationship

so intimate it leaves the wall
to become three-dimensional
for you

Eileen R. Tabios has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in 10 countries. In 2021, she released her first novel DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times and first French book La Vie erotique de l’art (trans. Samuel Rochery). More information at eileenrtabios.com