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For Aaron Sheon

"Tiny hatches, if you make enough of them, make

an entire etching move," you told us while we smoked

in the lit cave of your Tuesday 1-2:15. We scratched

our pens: dance & film posters, flyers to end the war. 

In our famous jeans we slouched before your podium & slides weaving

the movements & the solo trips.

"He was lonely." "She had no patron."

"Scale extends us & reins us in," you said of the strange Piranesis.

"Find the heart of a city by stepping in."

My alleys & arcades pressed onto the copperplate of my 20-year-old brain

fusing its hemispheres. I hitched to Colmar and found

the Isenheim Altarpiece, figures on the old panels aflame, then turned

my back on all religions because you'd shown us Goya's firing squad

& Daumier's gutters where people looked for water.

"Movement in a painting is important as Dante."

 I've looked for Dante's houses, cafés, notebooks, & horse-stalls, & someone

always says Oh, you mean The Poet.
"The body doesn't make sense by itself," you said, pointing the red-tip

wand at the chalky nudes of Ingres. If I am lonely

in any town whose museum

treasures its one Whistler or Bonnard, I stand before the image

hear your voice; my eyes

un-scroll, I lift 

again like a hinge.

Copyright © 2011 by Judith Vollmer. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Judith Vollmer. Used with permission of the author.

Judith Vollmer

by this poet

Streetlights out again I'm walking in the dark
lugging groceries up the steps to the porch
whose yellow bulb is about to go too, when a single 
familiar strand intersects my face,
the filament slides across my glasses which seem suddenly
perfectly clean, fresh, and my whole tired day slows down