He said it was like floating in color
then stepped into the purple air,
and we followed, you and I,
our shoes wrapped in paper booties, our minds
holding fast to the rules—
to not touch the walls, to not sit on the floor,
and take off your hat lest the shadows affect the appearance of light
dissolving into light,
and what is human instinct, really,
if not the desire to lose ourselves
to the liminal edges. There’s a
they guard the room—
the man by the lip,
the woman in her chair,
each basking in blue so pure
it makes the room weep—and trust me
when I say the guards aren’t there
for our own good.
This is not what we were expecting.
These boundaries made so perfectly clear.
And yes, this is a poem about boundaries.
and its desire to contain,
and how we become contained.
No wonder it always puts on such
1 “Study in White” was written in response to James Turrell’s Perfectly Clear.