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.