A Thousand Years of Glass
Glazed. What lightning turned.
These were brief but equal mansions. No one doubted.
And then began transparence. The arrogance
of an expression such as
to see beyond—my hand there is a castle;
my eye, entire world
ushered in the “glass age,” in which all rivers and every
you could see to the bottom with no distortion, the smallest pebble,
the lovely animals
and their colored umbrellas.
Here they learned to melt down snail shells so that the rich could
have imitation opals to replace, say, a missing eye, or line a keyhole,
or—in a pinch—stand in for the face, any face that couldn't
make it to the surface in time.
The rich got windows.
The rest got windows.
They painted intricate scenes on the backs of the windows and refined
a kind of glass for use in skin transplants. A river view of arm, for
instance, a single point perspective sketch of the steppes of Asia
over that tender point of the sternum.
They’d soon had enough of that—the maze of veins, the
tangled nerves, and on up into the precarious wiring of the brain,
delicate, intricate, and interminable, we the disconcerted yet inveterate
invent the curtain.
And now we assemble the pieces of water
And now we no longer
a rose window, my
broken; there are people who say they see
their hearts pumping as they sleep and they're afraid
to go to sleep in a house with so many rooms
By the light of oranges, strangers
bring the sea. stack it here. then quietly leave. Olivier de Serres
in 1600 suggested a return
to ancient methods—plant the trees in niches, which are open
to the sun
in summer and glassed over in winter. The niches were actually doorways
that opened into stone. Oranges feel at home there, and lemons find
a little light
The first orangerie in France was built in Amboise at the end of the
but the form reached its height in the 17th, coinciding with what’s
called “The Little Ice Age”
a series of particularly severe winters in which
layered, and we could hardly see
the arching windows.
sky. We seal the edge
of the fire by licking quickly and the heat soars round in pipes. What possible
genetic advantage could there ever have been in dying of the cold?
So they added wheels.
They resemble stables.
Winter light files
in perfect order
is one who folds plants as carefully as lingers
this is thin that never goes warm
light is made of mica,
like the orange, satellites)
and quietly eats
They resemble stables
Sliced. Early efforts
took the membranes that divide the sections of a lemon and dried them
in hopes of finding an alternative to papyrus
eaten with sugar—swarmed spherical
which is to say solid
and must be protected
by windows. There’s something nicely tight in that. I like
an inversion that turns around
make the sun touch
the very back
where the laurels and the pomegranates live
They resemble stables.