Black & White & Gray

Some people take refuge in the cold steel
Of a perfectly formed idea
In its right angles and sharp edges
In its immovability, immutable and austere.

Chalk it up to a lack of structure in the home,
Or a simple love of order,
Or to being the first-born

But watch, then, how they can make that motionless metal
Undulate and oscillate, shifting the blacks and whites
Until you see them in all their paletted color

And some just can’t see it, or won’t
They like the lack of terra firma
Over which they want uncertainty to walk beside them
All the way—as long as she holds their hands
And won’t let go

See, though, how that limpid ambiguity
Shifting like the late-afternoon light
Through shutters and fluttering leaves
Is always being hardened into photographs
Or paintings, or whatever can hold them still
Enough for pinning to the wall or filing in the drawer

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