University of Virginia Slide

I could say things have not changed much,
All the neoclassical glory remains set
In familiar halcyon arrangements,
The picture certainly appears
Old enough to make such a declaration,
It looks soft enough to now be a memory,
The trees are covered in a haze
Of leaves that stick to the branches
And the grass is hard to distinguish
From a sea painted onto the photograph,
But maybe it was taken yesterday,
There are plenty of applications out there
For coloring in the lines with a tint
That imitates old chemicals and storage
In a nearly forgotten cave under a dark pile
Of other gardens colored green by hand.

* * * * *

This poem is the first in a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.

A Werner Projection

You and I can say and feel with certainty
That our toes have become one,
I have twenty of them all of a sudden,
And so do you when we wiggle them,
The fingers moving over me remain yours,
But my back is their property
Though now I own your spine and ribs,
We share goose bump craters in common,
Along with breaths like tides,
Certain spaces fold together in the darkness,
And the only thing that is split is the room
That our indigo halos of embrace divide.