[Girl with Green Shawl, Moise Kisling, 1919]
She leans her feet upon each stone
in beds of moss asleep. This green
mosaic slant attracts her level gaze
and drops it to the floor, to uncut greys.
Veranda steps allow a rise of moss
to cling to its striated stream, a course
whose drift her feet ascend. Her body’s shift,
her cotton shuffle, softened slide (no lift)
combine in gesture, part the sepia screen.
She enters ringed in light. Her shadow bleeds
along the hall, a sedimenting act.
Come, it calls, slide into coolened black
and settle in the dark, this place between
the garden, stone, veranda, bud-like dream.
A window arch cuts through the wall of clay
far down the passage singly lit in sprays
of garden’s bark of almond, orchids, plum.
The breeze seeps to her in a scented hum.
She’s still not past the passage, still before
the garden window, staying in the core
suspended here in netted waiting, mesh
of footfall halted. Only weave of breath