Still Life with Cookie Tin Painting

Resistance like
red spring poppies
under a pristine town

a river painted with
black where the depths
reach up

Cypresses spindle up
from a country house
white walls

Vague clouds of trees
the bed of poppies
leaping out like

a three-dimensional creature
from the flatness of
Idyllic Town, Europe

A road — a creek —
swerves toward the house
into the knotted cypresses

We ask ourselves
how long

Postcard from the Met

That portrait of a dog buried in the sand.
That portrait of a dog sinking in the sand.
I remember it was sepia-toned.
The difference between sunk and sinking
Perfect-ness of the action which
begs the eye to follow through,
yet it just stares
frozen like the trapped animal
When you showed me a postcard
the year we met, the faded sketch
you imagined to be a head portrait
of a tired dog. (A happy dog?)
No it was sinking in an invisible mire
of canvas, not already sunk.
Sand and not white space
in old photographs,
the dog, the poor thing,
you loved its helplessness.