Glass Flowers (for Elizabeth)

by Peter Coe Verbica

 

The young artist

has her auburn hair in a bun

so it doesn’t catch fire.

She crosses a rusting yellow bridge

to work with heat, color and gravity:

just another mortal

who battles with the gods.

She labors inside the cavern

of an old warehouse.

Ignores the humidity,

carcasses of broken tractors,

and rot rising from the river.

She shuffles like a boxer

upon the dust

and diesel.

Pulls apart the rotating glass

with metal tongs;

forms petals

over the steady breath

of a blowtorch.

Colors them with cobalt,

selenium, iron, copper

and other oxides.

She loves innovation —

the salt and dripping sweat of it.

She beholds her

complex creation

made from limestone, soda ash

and simple sand.

She wears gloves

to keep the skin

from burning off of her fingers.

And, in the cup

of her hands

a brilliant, brittle bouquet

of glass flowers.

Peter Coe Verbica grew up on a commercial cattle ranch in Northern California. He obtained a BA and JD from Santa Clara University and an MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married and has four daughters.

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October 2018

© 2020 by The Esthetic Apostle