The shower steam this brilliant morning
Draws a picture without warning

On the surface of a dewy window:
In fact, our island, in intaglio—

The frosted windowscape
Stamped exactly in the shape,

An aerial relief
Of our deep-sea coral reef,

Each cut-out, in the damp,
A stencil’s sponge-like stamp,

Its paper angels corresponding
To our atoll’s sink-pot ponding,

The slide-like sieve
Topography’s derivative;

How can something so inanimate
As a misted laminate

Be perfect as a photo caught
By a passing astronaut?

The secret of that tropic blue
Is that in fact it’s glue,

The manufacturer’s
Missing stickers

Whose gauzy residue
Tints the ultraviolet hue

Present in our shaded light
To save us from the glare of sight,

So that a technique meant
To shield us from the world’s intent

Has contrived to hand it
Naked back to those who planned it,

Copying our DNA
To make of it a resume,

The function of reprocessed sap
To put us on the cosmic map,

As if such pantomimes appease
The viscous souls of rubber trees,

Whose genetic mapping is applied
To the views for which they died,

As a newsman leaves a portrait
Of his demise’s culprit,

Or a picture is a final hymn
From the subject’s victim,

Leaving us a last depiction
Of its author’s crucifixion.

November 22nd and 23rd