Artists: Georgia O’Keeffe

By Julie Kizershot

Always these pristine edges
this clarity, light

In 1920 you painted fruit
purple red grapes plums dropped them on
a white bowl, white cloth behind them
“so sweet” and “so cold”

Enough’s been said of flowers–
these tiny brushstrokes painful
your fingers tapered, precise, lovely
invisible presence soaks empty form
fruit drawn up to the eye, ripened, widened
reflected in the black pupil
saturated canvas

a virgin, once not un-sexed, but belonging to herself
dark iris white sweet, pink sweet peas
poppy orchid calla lily

this is always about looking
this lie on hard ground and watch a tree
catch stars in its branches

taste of salt
blazed heat fades into pooled shadow
a gull might fly here, or an unromantic swan
scrubbed white against color

the perfect form of an egg
a blackbird
a door ajar

there is beauty to what is stripped away
a spare elegance to the functional

vast empty untouchable alive
shells bones hills clouds sky sky sky

this slanted tree’s starred limbs
this winter road arced to nowhere