Like the all-encompassing color field paintings of Mark Rothko mentioned in Kit Evans’ poem, this little piece commands our attention, while also leaving things unsaid. Ever present are the ghosts of a former lover, the ghosts of the abstract expressionists that peopled the walls of the art museum with hungry dominating artwork, the narrator himself, and his attentive son. It is the child that pulls the focus away from the macabre and the dread of isolation and possibly loneliness. Like the snap of the fingers or a peal of thunder, the ending innocence of the son’s words provide relief and clarity–perhaps rejuvenation or rebirth. They call attention to something new and fresh and good, amidst the murkiness of life’s hardships.
When We Go to That Museum You Liked
A year before you left, you told me
Rothko brushed huge to contain the viewer.
That’s how it is, boxed inside a room
with colored canvases big enough
to eat us. Moderns who painted the nothing,
genius of spilled geometry, dissolving bodies.
I hold our son’s tiny hand in a room
of blood reds, gag greens, piss yellows,
when he pulls at my grip and whispers,
Daddy, look at the blue.
Kit Evans is a queer poet and writer living in Monmouth, Oregon. He is a recent graduate from Western Oregon University, and currently works as a bookkeeper. In his free-time, Kit can be found camping, meditating next to large bodies of water, or embroidering. His poem, “Riverbed Blues,” won Western Oregon University’s Peter Sears Poetry Prize in 2021, and appears in PURE Insights. His work will also be appearing in the Spring 2022 issue of Hiram Poetry Review.