after viewing Henri Matisse’s Promenade among the Olive Trees


I tread softly

through your grass-

pink as an Easter egg.

I collect black rocks,

lemon- hearted truths,

tears in stained glass dress.

I own six dogs

with coconut spots-

all named Daisy.

I own six dogs

who refuse to come

when called.

I want a Carmen Miranda hat,

a black light vacancy sign,

an ancient tree stretched

across tumbling sky-

branches all tied

in sailors’ knots.

Under that tree,

I am clinging

to the edge of your world,

counting out the buffalo heads.

Look- I am silver tinsel,

cherry eyes, lunar heart.

Look- I am waiting

for your confession priest,

your dictation machine,

your extradition sound

riding the carnival wave.


I am waiting

for the flotilla at dawn.

I am quickening

to the final stroke.







“Henri Matisse: Promenade among the Olive Trees (1975.1.194)”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)