Marquetry’s shock is smooth, its piercing polished;
To come across such stealth is a surprise:
That angled inflorescences should rise
From scored depressions and edges abolished.
From depression and introversion, inlay
Is carved out of melancholy for a burial
That seals under wood’s lithe ligaments’ play
The depth and solitude of the material.
A casket fit for letters or a necklace
Proves that the ponderous can be remade
As airy as a kite tail’s enfilade,
Lighter than badinage and more reckless.
The intricate bands enclosing jewelry
Trap imperturbably with less cruelty
The mutability of the arrayed
Than mordant etching plates engraved,
Or the rough carpentry of a coffin.
And in the twilight, the carver often
Turning to this container softer
Than the icy vial of relentless jade,
Fingers the silent sophistry of the coffer.