At 3AM sometimes I found the man sitting
bleached in the light from the forecast on TV.
There are no names for colors, he said,
the first time he spoke to me,
outside the visual spectrum. What is orange
but a conspiracy of resolution? A memory now,
dry as his faded signature on the DNR.
Mystery of the ocular vehicle found,
he told me, vision is nothing but a trick
of the eye, a radiance absorbed or deflected
off the surface of a thing, a photon, forged
in the sun’s core travels hundreds of thousands
of years to surface, and eight minutes to your eye
it collapses. A fraction of a blink between
his voice and my disremembrance of it.
Once, sometime later, sitting
in a stained-glass gallery suffused with light,
his brother came to the reading and showed me
photos he removed from an albumbook,
and I watched the sepia past, washed
in a chemical bath expose a sharpness of detail,
a variety of color, as the sleeves
were added to and subtracted from

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

William LaPage

William LaPage is the author of several chapbooks and a story collection. His most recent writing appeared in Flock. He teaches creative writing at Missouri State University.