Living in Subtitles

In The Interpretation of Dreams, Magritte
has painted a four-paned window. All four panes

are black. On each a superimposed image.
Under each image, a handwritten label.

He has labeled a bay horse’s head “the door.”
A wall clock whose black hands tell us the time is

still 12:18 is “the wind.” A white pitcher
is “the bird.” A brown valise is “the valise.”

Dreaming is living in a foreign country
where one doesn’t speak the language. So Magritte

kindly supplies subtitles. Since my mother
started dying, every window I look out

goes black. Through the black windows I see the trees
are subtitled “Ferris wheels.” The sun becomes

“the discotheque.” The streets are “opera hats.”
My mother remains “my mother.” She looks out

her black, four-paned window and sees the moon rise,
luminous luminaria that it is.

Donald Platt | One Illuminated Letter of Being |Red Mountain Press 2020

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