Nothing is ever decided. He looks at her
in the morning light where the hunger, the movement

is unmistakable, the bend of her hip & leg
when she sits—that joining

reminds him of
the corner of her eye

when she smiles—& this coming together
happens only in light, how it scatters

over the small rolls and ruts
of skin. In its power to make visible

the light will always be there, just as the skin

yet it’s the skin
the soft skin

makes the light beautiful. He loves
the thought of it this way, this

touch of skin: what
he so remarkably sees becomes

the idea of warmth, light, this place
where he is, nothing beyond it. Here,

she says. He here
& she after all here. These any two things. After

all there’s love, caress of flesh, touch
of the cheek warm as light. Her hair

his hair. Strokes of the brush
crossing so.

Burt Kimmelman, “Maxwell’s Sepia Elegy / Museum of Modern Art, 1.4.88”, in Gradually the World: New and Selected Poems, 1982–2013