Regarding a Painting by the Spanish Surrealist Remedios Varo

by Lisa Zimmerman

Don’t mistake the washed yellow room for heaven.
Don’t assume those are angels
reclining in chairs. What if you drink

the stirred gold potion? Alchemy
is a lie, a marvelous skill. A mistake
is not necessarily a sin. Be a witness.

Take note of the little black ship
on the tilted horizon. Hear the pitiful
sweet cries of the drowned.