On flags. Hoisted above homes,
a country’s bar code. Shutters
and venetian blinds, light blazing
from between the slats and then
diminishing. A heating vent
that we stand over in the winter,
instep eased over the metal.
Worn near the face to signify rank
and response. Button downs and
t-shirts, ties and ribbon, suggestion
of warfare and ease and sport,
of youth. Plowed fields viewed
from overhead, a carpet streaked
from the vacuum’s grasp, one
direction and then the other.
Saturated life spliced with absence,
an order we impose and label
as playful. Background muddled
with applied design, alternating
so that we cannot sort which
color and texture was there first,
a pattern not organic, but pleasing.