Two Poems by Chloe Yelena Miller

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Raised architecture of gold leaf

Time-gone smoke darkened 
the possible reflection. Museum light shadows continue 
to tweak the narrative. 

Gold demands candlelight.
Or maybe candlelight demands the gold?

Unworldly background 
in this world –
time travel.

Trim on Mary’s cloak,
gold and hammered like the landscape.  
Look longer and figures fade. Only the repeating pattern
are the remains of the dead – the artists who thinned, applied, hammered
this gold, expected light.


Modern Life 

Brancusi’s body rests
in the crib under Calder’s mobile. 
My Picasso husband fell apart, but 
someone spotted him drinking his sorrows
on Hopper’s empty porch. 

As I place O’Keefe’s large flowers in a vase, 
I imagine riding Chagall’s horse into the night sky
or holding hands with Matisse’s women.
Instead, I reach into Arcimboldo’s fruit basket
for grapes and a melon slice. I sigh 
into the De Chirico silence. 
To look like a Giacometti woman, 
I need more fruit and less 
Warhol-prepared foods. 

Suddenly, the infant screams 
like she saw a de Kooning
in the shadows. I should have given her
a Degas bath before the Cassatt feeding. 
 
I wipe my hands on my bare thighs, 
Descend the Stairs
at Futuristic speed. 
This is not a woman,
I think in French, which I do not speak.

Chloe Yelena Miller’s poetry collection, Viable, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books (2021) and her poetry chapbook, Unrest, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013). Miller is a recipient of a 2020 and 2022 DC Arts and Humanities Fellowship (Individuals) grant. She teaches writing at American University, University of Maryland Global Campus and Politics & Prose Bookstore, as well as privately. Contact her and read some of her work at www.chloeyelenamiller.com and follow her on Twitter.

Image: “Swirling and Shimmering” from Los Paseos under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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