Dearest Reader

He painted the mountain over and over again 
from his place in the cave, agape 
at the light, its absence, the mantled 
skull with blue-tinted hollows, wren-
like bird plucking berries from the fire 
her hair alight and so on
lemon grass in cafe in clear glass. 
Dearest reader there were trees 
formed of wire, broad entryways 
beneath balconies beneath spires 
youthful head come to rest in meadow 
beside bend in gravel road, still 
body of milky liquid
her hair alight and so on 
successive halls, flowered carpets and doors 
or the photograph of nothing but pigeons 
and grackles by the shadow of a fountain.

From Codes Appearing: Poems 1979-1988 by Michael Palmer. Copyright © 1984 by Michael Palmer. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.