Essay on White

“Could it be, …that radiance tires of itself?” ~ D. Bonta

Albumen sheen, not the asphalt that is
bitumen— Yes to radish-tinted, textured,

coarse linen; or to carded fibers not yet
dipped in dye. I hanker for the simple:

effortless grace unaware of itself,
flaws braided into the weave;

grain stenciled without apology or
hurt across the surfaces of wood…

Impossible to list, catalog,
jot down all occurrences

known to us, of white— Ecru, stucco,
lace formed by webs of frost on cold

mornings; iridescent inner lining,
nacre coating the dark lips of mollusks.

Overlay of primer on blank canvas,
patience before the first drawn breath of

qi. (Not that radiance hasn’t been appropriated,
reduced to cliche, some current and marketable

shorthand.) Still, I understand— How
tiresome it must be to wear the same

unblemished habit, always be the pearlized
vellum that stones must try to skip across.

Wanting has more variegated colors;
exits are rarely lettered in pastel.

You know the garish red of Stop and Danger signs; and
zebra stripes that tell us where to cross the street.


In response to Via Negativa: Fulgurite.

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