This near-white shirt--
Tea-colored from age and dots of invisible grime,
Islands in the midst of a vast expanse
That sing of the pretty, dirty places it has visited--
Is covered in a quiet sampling of white, white paint.
I feel them before I see them
As I run my fingers over the dots of dry white-wash paint
And I dress in the dark crevice of early morning.
They are barely there--
Invisible to the naked eye
(The way of the children who inaugurated them to their place
From that time until now);
Invisible unless you get close enough to see them wholly--
Not merely a part of the greater whole, the greater shirt;
Not merely a part of the tea-toned canopy of dirt and grime,
But flecks of white-wash paint,
Each original, unique, and pure,
As bold as innocence,
As untouched as an ivory tower.
29 January 2008