Poem

Honest-to-God Color, God Said, for Artists

Marianne Boruch

Honest-to-god color, god said, for artists. 
But first, graveyards, to grind the human femur 
in secret, for bone black. And cuttlefish 
for sepia, ingenious spray when they 

fear things, which is mostly in that water. 
For blue, miniature wars to come, pilgrimages, 
and rapes some will consider a hobby. 
The trade routes: mules, slaves bent low with cobalt 

or lapis. And yellow? From piss, out of cows eating 
only mango leaves. That will be rumor, little dried cakes 
of it. What color am I? thought god, just past 
the ice age. Let there be mirrors! though nothing 

looked anything like god in them, world 
coming to detail quickly, over eons. Leaf. Rattle. 
Out of trees an owl frenzied, mobbed by five 
shrieking crows. Red is blood-red eventually. 

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