Chagall reached his hands

into an enormous bucket of water, and he bent over

and closed his eyes and felt the slimy fish singing and the cock playing the drum profoundly,

the bouquet of water-flowers floating near the lady with the blue fan, caught in the diagonal

column of light filtering through the water like some enormous fleshy leg.

The strange music calmed Chagall, as he felt with the eyes of his hands the marriage

of a green-faced groom with a blue-faced bride, with a flying acrobat playing clarinet

and a man playing cello to a goose.  So many marriages, so much red and blue,

hands holding blank tablets,  a yellow animal, perhaps a horse, playing a

blue violin, a green candlestick and the painter kissing a red angel.  Chagall ambled through the

 village street making things represent other things, “green and radiant light-blue on Torah and


“the nocturnal, secret region

of woman and beast between land and water,” these

gloomy, natural, Russian, sacred, radiant, harmonious, green-twilight-evenings-mystical-half-


flung onto the canvas like a plate of cold red fish.


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