that little bit of bloodied ear drowned out your palette
and made the light a clashing cymbal.
the things you saw were never there,
until your fingers foung them hiding in the light,
where people without your pain never thought to look.
the sun could hardly make you squint, but how it burned.
Tahitian color was too thick and lush with sap
for your poor brush that wanted only light.
Who knew in Arles they lived in such a place?
orchard-lovely and loving light, those ballet buds
would dance like laughter on your eyes.
You always heard their tinted music,
and caught the notes in colors never seen;
but you never heard the laughter,
with crouching madness hiding in your tears.
Now our eyes see only the orchards and the stars.
but it was you who knew the night.