Design for a Silver Box in the Shape of a Melon, 1918
after Peche In sheet metal or silver shallows filled with these: hollow, floating where some assumed votives would be lit. Or lanterns. Do you see the time of day? With still some red to flush the waders, scatter against a few boats, and fire cannons Distantly, first. When we see the flare, we listen. Sand buries at our ankles. They appear, the apples or melons Printed along the wallpaper, half submerged in their setting, brushed dark with stems, the silver flats folded in fans. Too Many of the waders grasp the stem and pull off the top of an apple or melon, so the base fills with water And sinks. Silver leaves from the stem. One small woman's pearl earring drops like so many others in the shallows. Eardrops. I met a woman in Viennese glass. What was in her jewel case? A shade that turns over a blue trellis. Flower Theater (or garden) on the flattened silver wall, a gray screen where boats fire, the blush falls and dyes a cherry chime.
First published in New American Writing. Copyright © 2008 by Jonathan Thirkield. From The Waker's Corridor (Louisiana State University Press, 2009). Used by permission of the author.