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Andrew H. Oerke
Mary of Chartres

Mary’s glass is chunky as homemade popsicle cubes
seen through bifocals. Who’s to say I’m wrong?
Except it’s bluer. Paul Cézanne’s blue angles
made bathers look like angels in a Cubist web
of gems he dug from deep in his mental mine,
where hordes of sapphires bubbled like little blue lamps.
These jewels are invisible till lugged to the surface,
are cut and polished, and set, like stained glass in windows.

Mary stole the rainbow’s wave-lengths and spread them
around at Chartres. In “The Bathers,” Cézanne
caught a fishy lapis light, sliced it up, and cooked it
in a robin’s-egg-blue chowder. Mix in powder of copper
and Shakespeare’s cauldron bubbles. Then the Good Witch
of the South, dressed in tanzanite robes, swipes
the retina softly, staining us to aquamarine
bright as coral beaches with a turquoise bias,
that can be glimpsed by worshippers and watchers
who know there are no limits to space
and somewhere everything will run on time.
Someday her cobalt-blue will fly us home.