Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23 -- M. S. Rooney

Oranges in Tissue Paper

oil on canvas, William J. McCloskey, ca 1890

Viewed at M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco

Longing for harmony,

I am drawn to the glow
of these seven oranges
resting on a polished tabletop
before the sheen
of a plush blue-black drape.

Three are wrapped in splitting
bright white tissue paper,
three are unwrapped, whole,
one has the skin slit
into six pointed segments
peeled back to reveal
the creamy white pith clinging
to the soft, just opened
orange inner flesh.

Yet this harmony of forms
will not stay still, will not
be held by canvas or by frame,
but spins in the eye, turns
in the chest, a movement
gyroscopic, as un-
expected as
a stolen kiss
that startles and then vanishes,
yet cannot be undone.

Link to image of painting:

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