by Sam Less

eager to lead
me like a child
hand in hand
through the crowded exhibition
she navigates the narrow passage
flanked by hors d’oevour-wielding
to arrive at last
at a clearing before
this simple still-life
of crude, subtle-tone bottles,
so much riding, it appears, on the
delicate relationship between its forms
and the featureless background,
its sudden test of my aesthetic sensitivity
a minefield where a wrong word
will shatter us,
somehow more fragile
than these perfect misshapen vessels.