LA CONDITION HUMAINE
This is how we see the world.
-René Magritte, 1938 lecture
There is a room where a man lies next
To a woman whose shoulders are lit
By morning. He wakes her to drift
Of clouds, wash of skies, drizzle
Of leaves in the air. “Magritte,”
He says into her ear, tracing
With a long slender finger,
A frame beyond the windowpane.
Another room in another time
Suddenly opens inside her.
She is standing by a window
Before the painting’s expanse of grass,
The cut of dirt road, and on the horizon
A stand of mountains measuring the reach
Of a single aspen. “La Condition Humaine,”
She turns to the man beside her,
As if to say she understood how inside
And outside the rooms of love
The landscape was not always seamless;
How, every time she turned her heart
Into an eye to invent with words the true form
Of being, dustmotes were already trapped
In the light of images, like this morning
Vanished fast into another day.
In no time they shall each be elsewhere.