Catherine Wing

The Color I Take
October 22, 2023 Wing Catherine

The Color I Take
after Helen Frankenthaler’s “Wisdom”


All day the green had soaked me, leaf-dappled pollen-dipped, sweet grass and lawn-clippings, clover and plantain, the wrinkled world fresh in its unfurling pouring everything down and dripping my back. Love in its mist, a yellow vined up my fingertips and fruited at my shoulders and some sky such a pulsing pressing blue the air couldn’t stand between us. Everything was merge and float, light running maniac across the retina. All the things that life has stained me by and with, drab parking lots and laundromats, pale lost tickets, the grey scrubbing daily, all this pushed to the raw edges of the universe so that I might be soaked and seeped in color. And there the shore absorbing sea and the green absorbing blue what does it know about how a mountain insists or how everything must learn to bear its shadow. Midnight-blue bleeds to black, a canyon down which the last of the sun is poured, orange as pure egg yolk.

Catherine Wing is the author of two collections of poetry, Enter Invisible and Gin & Bleach. Her poems have been published in such journals as Poetry, The Nation, and Tin House. She teaches at Kent State University and with the NEOMFA, the nation’s only consortial program in Creative Writing.