Alec Hershman

She’s charmed by water on the floor.
The keys weigh a finger into pointing,

into drop, into splash. Like the selfish painter
he could not decide on which side to put the door,

so everyone left. Before canvas there was a notion of scale
where he involved his arm in a shade to the elbow—

He put a house on the prairie. He put an apple
on the table, a gem spectacle with a microscope

attached. Like a virus critics dazzle in the cell
of exposition, in the cosmic ring

around the jeweler’s eye. He turns to Christine
under a light-bulb. I think it’s an emerald

says Christine, when in fact it’s an algae. Carpeting
lends to shoes a softness, and there is carpeting

in the workshop where they stand.
And anyone can be lied to—just think:

a literal-mindedness we hold up to clouds.