Yellow GothamMatthew Hittinger
Yes you said, but what would you select? Name one. Not the Narbonne Arch of fantastical mystical beasts Not that manticore's scorpion tail, nor the pelican's beak Not the basilisk's glowing eyes, nor the harpy's talon Not the griffin's wings, nor the amphisbaena's fangs Not the centaur's blond mane, nor the lion's gilt crown Yes you said, but they are all of stone, and you imagine. Not the former Carmelite church's stained glass saints Not Catherine's wheel and sword, nor Dorothea's roses Not Barbara's tower, Servatius' key, nor Mary's corn robe Yes you said, but they are in someone else's heaven. Not in quatrefoil roundels with their four leafed scenes Not the knave stealing food, nor the baker and his loaves Not the knight in tournament, nor the masquerade garb Yes you said, but those are people, that is satire. Not in nimbus, not in halo, nor the almond mandorla Not in heraldic motifs, not garter, thistle, or fleur-de-lis Yes you said, but you cannot name a symbol a design. Not in plate or ewer, cruet or chalice, paten, beaker, straw Not in brooch, not in clasp, not in cross or crosier shaft Not the aquamanile in the form of a dragon or a cock Yes you said, but those are things made of or gilt in gold. Not the Paschal candlestick, not the altar or credenza Not the ivory reliquary carvings, nor the narwal tusk Not the playing card suits: collar, horn, tether and noose Yes yes, you said, I want those playing cards too. Not the unicorn tapestries' millefleurs backgrounds Not the dogs, not the finches, not the fountain or horn Not the lance, brocade, not the velvet, leather or fur Not the fence or collar, nor the initials A and E Yes yes, you said, which is to say, not the thread. Not even the sun square in the arid Saint Guilhem court Yes you said, then where? Then what? You must choose. Not Wordsworth's daffodil, not St. John's Wort where light seeps through windowed leaves, but there in the Bonnefont herb garden, the single corona of the Narcissis poeticus. Yes you said, and this is what, how you choose? Though my namesake's white petals would put the lily to shame, and its corona's red bled edge pricks far worse than any thorny rose, no other color comes closest to the Cloisters in my head.
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