Leslie Shinn
North Sixth


Sun opens the sidewalk
and the wind, a music:
the bell's a bottle's roll,
the rattles and claps
a remnant leaf walking by

the place two men sit
before a torn painting
of wires and vines. Each holds
a bowl of all they get today
under one blooming tree
that hands out its white cupped plates.

The lot's a poor city
field, the trash the deep
generic mix of metals and glass,
caged dogs and the ratty birds
watching as now, over the broken
houses, the light comes up
hard as it can go.



Self-Portrait


I will make a dress,
ink blue, an arced triangle
that has as its point
the neck opening, below,
black stick legs
and black shoebox feet.
Armless, and what background
will be seen, for I will
blacken out most of it
a way I like, will be the usual
highs and lows, stars and mud,
or if possible a gray rain color
undivided over some roses,
any horizon line way off, unthought,
in fact above the paper.