I might have wondered at statues
washed of gaudy color
and thought nothing lost but paint.
Despite their stories and their troubles,
they now look arch, submissive,
as alive as the death you breathed
into her and into me.
A color misnamed flesh,
cool and warm brown, beige,
these torsos miss
wars, ornament, fraternity,
lips chapped from kissing,
whole summers of raspberries,
and winters of willow bark tea.
How do I persist
praising perishing flowers
and likenesses of — what —