Flight, after Matisse

Tonight I know why Matisse hung those

black stars in the same sky with his pulsing sun:

Sometimes the mind travels faster than

the speed of light:

violet radiation of the pavement below,

neon wildflowers buzzing above,

a rank of fiery swiveling characters:

Outsiders dare not—

But Matisse cut out a tunnel,

a column of blue oxygen

receding toward the surface.

In this place the body collects

and multiplies the singular light overhead.