Impressions

Impressions

(by Mieczyslaw Jastrun. Translated Dzvinia Orlowsky & Jeff Friedman)

Chrysanthemums, purple
with anger, almost disappeared in shadow—
dark red with green leaves
in the scarred attic.

Fledgling,
when you shut your eyes
what do you feel
with your novice skin?
When you open them,
fire fringes the sky,
red icons flaring.

But what are the names,
the colors of the blind?
We know the names for plant and animal
but we’re all clothed in our own smell,
locked in our own vision.

I can’t see or feel faith
in these extravagances,
only death.