To be colored in metallic salt,
dipped in cobalt
blue, raku’s
flame-tamed hue’s
equatorial smoke and wintry water.


To reside in luster:
illicit god’s chamber-
quarantined gold.
To be the stone—small, in blindfold,
pressed to the vessel’s


burnished sides. To be the pestle’s
love against the mortar:
plot of glaze, guise of feldspar.
To be the shard-skin:
glass cast-out of manganese, iron, livid tin.


To be the callow body
vitrified in journey
near catastrophe:
something new arises out of desire
of water, earth and furtive-fettered fire.

Valerie Wohlfeld

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 21 Number 3, on page 42
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