by Lee Upton

To drink in light or filter light,
rain streaming against the credit union,
gray in swarming midges,
the book closing, and now
the gray of much washed sheets,
the gray of window screens and
wet sand, the gray of sleep
with its ambulance sirens.
I would like to lie down on the gray
sheet in the gray room,
beside the desk where the opaque glass of water
films with invisible grayness.
To be in the gray house
with drying small-faced flowers, and outside,
the overturned
stones of justice,
the ocean’s grayness rearing up and back,
a little green inside the gray waves,
just as when two decades ago
on a balcony in the city,
the table under my hands turned gray
below the spreading branches of maples.
And in the distance
the long bridge where light
blew gray ash,
and my friend said: I’ll never live anywhere else.
The lavender and yellow of gray,
gray which sacrifices itself for
the vibrancy of another:
the way fog spreads a streetlight
into a moist blinking halo,
or, for instance, the shadowy rim
against the curtain: the pomegranate:
bleeding in her gray chambers
like a medieval queen.