Concentrated in a finger
all the expectation of her wedding day,
Hopper, how well you’ve caught this woman,
her husband and the room
silent, but for the rustle
of a newspaper as the breeze - hot
in darkening sky-
disturbs it. Her husband’s
buttoned up in suit and tie,
his jaws clamped
hard as the city heat.
I can’t explain why her red dress -
its softly sculptured neck
and arms bare length -
do not invite. Nor why
her perfume - once like hyacinths -
cloys and stifles. Has he forgotten -
though it shines
like damask in the light-
her hair’s silky feel
between his fingers
the first night he’d dared
to touch her anywhere?
Above this picture
someone has written: Hopper - a romantic
though other rarely
measure up to one’s ideal. Here their painted
she flirts with piano keys
and, as he turns over The New York Times,
her finger slips
to a lower note - discordant.
ARKANSAS IN MARCH
Here things are slow colours:
ponderous red a truck starts, stalls.
A cat slinks black, lovers are a blue
amble of jeans. Sun
dissolves into the day’s yellow drowse.
Here an event
is someone seen on a sidewalk, his wood house as slumberous
green as coned fir trees. Above, a hawk is a recumbent brown,
on its wing-spanned breeze.
In an indolence of afternoon
like words on the tongue’s indigenous southern drawl.
Here colours yawn the movement of things,
light is languorous
the rain greys down.