with lines by Louise Bourgeois
For a lifetime I have wanted
to say the same thing. Daubing red
paint against the sky, taking it away
in a different print. More blue then.
Laid down amid the shapes that mean
lake, mountain, house until the spaces
between them tremble and flush
with color. Over and over
the etched plate pressed to paper. Nothing
is lost. Inverting the winter tree
so branches become roots, burrowing
the mute earth. So roots become
branches, cradling a woman’s face.
Breasts press outward from
the trunk, her pelvis nestles where roots
descend. It was a subterranean,
unconscious land that I longed for.
Over and over the paper’s parched skin
opens to drink in pigment, ink. Over
and over the tree’s stripped limbs
stroked with crimson. Now they reach
in every direction, rouged. Now
for the sky behind them. Now for the blue.