there is no picture / for chroma in its half-mirrored flashing, for the ways / it defaults in you, speaks in a scrambled grammar you are not to pronounce, for example the ways / the phrase “being less being” disrupts thought, in ways / chroma passes over
there is no picture / for what chroma resembles, for the ways / chroma carries the nothing within itself, while pictures / carry chroma away from the nothing, for the ways / the nothing is thereby kept from you / so that you might consider yourself acquitted, the ways / you are in fact acquitted
there is no picture / for what happened on waking today, the ways / the unwritten page of my notebook was not empty / rather scattered with messages-in-light, clear and indecipherable, in the ways / angels pronounce themselves / and if so:  better to see than to read such messages, in ways / only chroma allows
there is no picture / for the sun going through its climb somewhere beyond the philadelphia sky, for the ways / the old glass of this house is the sky’s medium, and the open page / seems the morning’s answer to last night’s daydreaming, the ways / i was dreaming about the world of things no longer given to collide / either with other things, or with the nothing, and the ways / i could not distinguish utopia from chroma
there is no picture / for what i beg from chroma, for the ways / i need souvenirs of the unfinished world / unfinishedness made into keepsake, made keepable, and the ways / you too need an image of your life’s unfinishedness / in a form you can cherish / oh, but the ways your life in its unfinishedness does not need you
there is no picture / for the ways chroma is the heart that takes you to chroma, the ways / your own awakening bewitches you, as moses asked / about the chroma in the bush, or the ways / david met god every night of his waking less being / while you keep returning to your source, in ways / you do not study
there is no picture / for those who look and look, or for the ways / those who look find no useless sights / though i ask:  why should the angels have entrusted our souls to chroma, in ways / we cannot capably see, though surely their reasons / shine with ancient tragedy, in ways / chroma will carry
there is no picture / for the ways no one cries for regular misery, the ways / death is a petty thing in everyday life / but something to weep for when framed and staged, the ways / you yourself do not despair the occasions for mourning / before they arrive, the ways / you could not do so, even if you willed it
there is no picture / for chroma magnified to a size mourners can see, for the ways / we hold the dearest mirrors in darkness, as if to secret them / in innocence, determined that they not be shown the nothing, and the ways / you and i struggle to ask the right question: / not what truth beyond appearances looks like, rather the ways / chroma divines our abandonment there
there is no picture / for angels pondering the face of philadelphia, or the ways / their pondering may resist our anguish / or help shoulder the images we too carry, the ways / i am here, הנני, i am here / while the telluric questions of matter and destiny wander the city, the way / incisions and broken twigs make lines of verse
there is no picture / for what you in your completeness renounce, for the ways / you depart from the nothing toward the whole, collecting / your nomadic treasures, lingering less being, and the ways / you scratch at bricks while clouds threaten rain / and occasionally move you to renounce your share in the ways / chroma evades you
there is no picture / for the copulation of hues you seek, for the ways / you estimate seeking as clutching at seeing  / and clever antiphony, and scenographic scheming, which are ways / of rhyme and counterpoint in chroma, visual lists / of the city and the sides of roots made vertical, and the ways / bugs too carry chroma within them
there is no picture / for the emptiness of soul you manage to say, for the ways / you find something to see when you have no reason to look, and the ways / images stand forth in their futile hours / while chroma shines forth, calls forth your being-for the world, in ways / strangely, even angelically, you may one day bend to see

Photographs and poem:  Philadelphia, September-December 2020
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