i thought it was all in my head (or, what is real?)

manet lilacs roses

these flowers glide off the canvas: white
lilacs, roses

reaching, wanting to be
pulled—

out of the vase, picked up out of the
frame

by their under-
arms

and swung ’round like a
child.

a thick outline once a
tree

holds them in
place,

like a
pause,

like the words saying
wait.

inside: a swirl-
storm

of quiet refrain and color-bent
lines

and memories of
soil.

when i wake from dreams, the
feel

of your mouth on mine, the wet
gaze

of your eyes down into
me,

the heat push-pull of your
hands

feels
real:

inside this
vase,

inside this last
stand,

these abstractions
boxing

me in, the rest
out.

 

Art: Vase of White Lilacs and Roses, by Edouard Manet

This is one of the last paintings created by Manet before his death in April of 1883.

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