by Jeffrey Burghauser (November 2019)
The Conservatory, Henri Matisse, 1938
Ample casements in the corridor
Frame the glass conservatory’s L-
Angled roof. Approach. Peer downward, for
Through the heavy glass one’s gaze can pour:
Jaffa limestone flooring, bronzes, hell-
Colored blossoms, vines, the palms they grope,
Oil lamps as in a dream hotel,
Dad’s Hermès Ein Gedi-scented soap.
Lover, fix your gaze upon the sum
I’ve been long-bewildered that I’m from,
Just beyond that polished walnut verge.
“Welcome back, sir,” says the concierge.
Welcome?—who, exactly? Be precise.
You can’t step into the same name twice.
Pierre with Wooden Horse, Henri Matisse, 1908
Like the tip, cuts, shoulder of a key,