“If I could strip a sunflower bare to its bare soul,
I would rebuild it:
Green inside of green, ringed round by green.
There’d be nothing but new flowers anymore.
Donald Revell’s poem of never-ending green, the “furnace of” an emerald eye, is titled “Death.”
I had always thought of black as the color of death, and of green as occupying the opposite end of the metaphor spectrum: the ephemeral lime green of incipient spring flower petals before alchemy renders them in magenta; crocus leaves’ broad, flat matte green, thirstily reaching through fall debris in search of stormy April skies; winter’s verdant evergreen perfume. Jim’s color. My own mint green eyes, encircled in teal-tinged steel blue, gifted me by my father before the furnace took him, too.
Green eyes open, studying the horizon, crying in the rain, not heavy-lidded in pain or closed in death.
In Revell’s poem, green eyes are not windows to one person’s soul, but the soul itself–a collective being of its own, holding the dead and the living, children never born to murdered children who did not grow old enough to bring them into this world.
Here closed eyes offer infinite sight.
One flower’s dismantling makes perpetual flowering possible.
Death is life and rebirth.
Black is green.
Green is never gone.