Andrew Feld


To Adam



All afternoon we said their names
as colors: red-winged, ruby-throated,
yellow-shafted, golden-crowned,
until, palate exhausted, we shifted
synesthetic into song and let them
be music, airy melismas falling off;
as one assured the unsaid, unstressed,
is understood (the note is grace,
the rhyme is feminine). So Eve
entered the picture as chiaroscuro,
a shadow-sheen on her bright shoulders
both compliment and completion.
As one who pauses, passing
through room after room of quiet,
Giotto to Raphael to now, she waited
by the trembling waters, to see
the answer to that strange command:
in my image. What isn’t? The steps
of those umbrella-pines, climbing
from sleep to the last, worn-thin light
of day, a faded sheet stretched
between two women who fold by fold
approach each other, as the work
of naming narrows to the finest brush,
a single mink bristle dotting a few
more details in. That intestinal thread
forced out of a toad’s military belly,
an almost-acrylic of El Greco
or Soutine. A rented blue Hertz car
flees the scene, a convertible,
named after our most American hope:
what’s that around the corner
we’re about to become? Listen,
my first and oldest friend, even
with so much material, a continent,
between us, we might be working
in the same direction. We still
could turn out to be twins.