by Eve Robillard
Lesson, With Questions 

You (in your very good English)
are explaining to me
how Matisse did not

paint things—he painted
the relationship
between them.
point out
to me
the geranium in its pot

the goldfish in its bowl

(your hands quick now, light—as if you

were holding your own invisible brush)

and the way apples on a table

mirror the woman's breasts then
I say to you (in my very bad

French) I like this one, I like

how the woman stands at the window
the book lying open that way
the sky so wide

so impossibly blue.

-from when gertrude married alice.
Parallel Press, 2004