I Want To Live My Life in a Rothko Painting
—Written to Franz Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in B-flat Major,
Op. 76, No. 4 “Sunrise”
like ocher, settling lightly upon brown earth
seeded with light, like aquamarine blue
sinking into a sea of violet.
I will live in an orange house with a yellow roof
and peach trees growing in the orchard—hang
my red slip on a clothesline at twilight.
I will lick rectangles of color papering my walls,
layers of tangerine and sweet vanilla—burn
my throat on strips of alizarin red.
I will drink from a black cup that never empties,
sit in front of a fire and breathe in the coal-gray
scent of charcoal as flames burn through it.
I will slip inside the caress of a beige blanket,
curl up on saffron pillows, and dream of yellow
perfume bottles holding no fragrance.
Inside the Rothko painting, I will listen
to maroon walls sing beneath the blackest
windows while I watch the sun set
behind my two-dimensional life.
Margaret Chula’s eight collections of poetry include, most recently, Daffodils at Twilight. She has served as Poet Laureate for Friends of Chamber Music and as President of the Tanka Society of America. Living in Kyoto for twelve years, she now makes her home in Portland. Visit her at margaretchula.com