“Self-Portrait as Sycamore in Copper & Pearl” by Kathy Fagan

Issue 66

Found in Willow Springs 66

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I may look smooth

shouldered just stepping

from the soak, my planes

flushed pink, angles

ocher, my tresses

oxidizing in reverse,

but take a long hard

look. Take a biopsy.

Interrogate my juices

under your scope &

you'll survive as I have

the sylvan hallelujah

moment, bullion bars

fanning through the showy

oaks & maples & the sweet

sweet gums. When blue is

dominate all over

the earth, atmosphere is king

the air so hammers-on-

strings so perfect it steals the

voices right off

the birds. In the double-dutch

sunlight of American mid-October,

therefore, I may look like a

pearl, but try stopping one,

their cheeks packed with

gold, silver, & blood.

Observe their divots

& dents. Likewise, I

am flawed, with flaking

crusts, molds, blighted bits,

& not a few limbs dead

as a gelding's part.

I know the need to admire

one's cream blushes & metallic

finishes, to take a copper

leaf for your collection

& break the ricochet

silence en plein air with your

sighs. But understand, rainlight

is the truest pearl,

my ugly friend,

with whom I have neither

inhibitions nor differences.

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