Yes but, no but, the paintbrush seems to mutter

As I swish it back and forth across the weatherboard,

Going with the grain then working against it,


The faded charcoal turning onyx, the wood made rich again,

Less true to itself the blacker it gets

But beautiful, the knots like stubborn hearts,


Which is maybe what the brush is trying to say,

Yes but, no but, the darkness deepening with each stroke,

As if the world weren’t dark enough already.