The Inside Joke

Beside a modest river bent to the demands of dreams
diverted to a labyrinth of fog, bread and stockings
relieved by cul de sacs of impressionist afternoons

Patterns woven in stone, arias of color in glass
writhing forms on the triumphal arch
unblind us
to the outcome of force finally mercifully

Beauty is the inside joke of the universe

An interloper or a punchline you
lean toward the melancholy ornament to feel
the overripe place in the marble

and bow to the museum placard
or hide your face with a camera
from the voluptuous riot in sterile gold—
where God doubted Himself
and did not mind

©Colin Dodds 2017

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