Le Rayon Vert

By | 12 March 2012

Look here, a mere inch stripe
of fire orange sunset holding its own
under a bumpy blue curtain
socked between the great-dome sky
and the puny line of city buildings
beyond the window sill.

I am content with that slender
golden Cleopatra snake of color
– we’re easy to please here in Seattle –
when my eyes are struck with a stabbing’s-worth
of candlepower as the sun slides herself
right into that skinny strip
now not so bright after all.

I’m telling you that disc’s shining a path
across the lake from there to me
worthy of any buxom harvest moon.
But here’s the kicker: At the end of her short show
she winks an unmistakable rayon vert
magical reward for willing one’s eyes
not to blink during her last second of visible life.

And then – I know you won’t believe this –
the green lingers, snuggles girlishly
against an upended skyline rectangle,
and tosses out a pinch of lime juice
to the lake’s ripple tips.

You are going to tell me green flashes
happen only over oceans and so I thought.
Never in all my years of watching the sun
disappear behind Jersey City did I see
anything even slightly verdigris,

And certainly not the sexy shade of green
she sometimes likes to flash
just at her final exit,
ensuring we won’t forget,
that we’ll watch every single night
hoping she’ll show it again.

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