You ask me what is it
this brittle I’m speaking of:
what is this short temper?
And I am cracking the colours
having broken the blue
I say brittle is like this
and the shortness in my own breath
shows me how long I have been wanting
that exact blue of your eyes.
The red is no better
run like the Rio Dulce into murk
nothing can save us now
the sweet scratch of your nail
through the hardening colour
makes red redder and the
small smile you give me
is as clear as the sky.
Then, yellow will not shatter.
Yellow will not yield
my thumbs are worn, nail bed
lifting from my scratching at the
yellow you say brittle in my ear
and I know myself that I shatter
in the the yellow centre.
We have found the colours,
collected them and grouped them
we made them run and spilt them
we have seen that they each will do
the thing they themselves dictate
being made waxy and soft
until they cool. Then they are
as crisp as the day
and as likely to crack into shapes
spelling brittle across the board.
You sisters take the round ones
and make marks big and small
over huge sheets of paper.
The spangled colours are
as mixed and sweet
as the lines on the maps that show the way.