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Individual Voices / Natural Forms

Winter, 2006

Brendan Constantine

Upon Seeing a Reproduction of Matisse's Goldfish

The truth is the brightest color on any palette. Be sparing.
When the goldfish dies, tell the children it has gone to live
with other goldfish, a family like yours who needs one more,
who live in a cave, in a cove, in a goldfish palace at the bottom
of the sea. Tell them anything so long as it does not out shine
them. They'll see the gallery soon enough, may even scare you
with how close they get to the work. Say nothing at all then.
Try to have faith the docents will tell them. Their love for you
is none of your business, a closed exhibit, a castle surrounded
by colored stones that blind the gasping eyes of the old.