Portrait with Color in a Colorless World

- after "Les feuilles mortes," Remedios Varo (1956)

The color of love or alarm is either red
or white: the woman's hair like a bush

on fire; a red bird pursued by a white one,
emerging from hallways leading endlessly 

into the region of the heart. Once, she frayed
the ends of a sweater and used the thread

to pass beyond the edges of a ruined garden.
The folds of her gown hide any breath of mis-

giving: even the dying have rituals they want
observed. But see, she reels the tether back into

her hand. She doesn't look at where it's been
or where it's going. One might mistake this for

indifference, except she took care to match
the color of her boots to the fire she guarded.

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