Devil's Optics

Color by number, by color count
numbers colored up, coloring
sums of numbered colors held
accountable to summed counts
in color, number and number sums
"How many colors were

counted?" Some. "How many
colors count?" Some; some not
described by arcs concentrically
outlined, each brow raised
over the brow of the last,
blank foreheads branded

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and a lie, then 7.
Newton described indigo
he could not see but believed
since six was the devil's number,
he saw indigo, faith
in seven measuring all things

refined enough to outwit
his own eyes like glare
on water, aftervision, gravity
hill, miracle of the Paint by Logic
image floating through its grid
proven, my eyes go numb

by seven: known planets of
the seventeenth century. Notes
in a scale, days, seventh
chord, cardinal sins. There's a ring
any list has certain thing, certain
thing sounding true as the rim

of a glass filled equally by air
and by water. It's a trinity of same-
colored parts. Its circumference
marks the circle in a Venn diagram
where the rainbow is
the intersecting arc that shows

common ground, by common sense
of sight, the sheer, protracted faith
to go on. We forget we forgot
goes the slide carousel, its ticker
tallying half-lives slides
attempt to resurrect

the score of, colors
searing through the heretofore
white screen. How believable
is the red-eyed six-year-old
self, scowling at some slight
you can't recall? Spin

your color wheel: behind
its seven-chevron shield
innumerable Pantone arrows
take their aim: Forget-me-not. Yellow
Indigo. Wild Indigo. False
Indigo. Iris, iris, bull's eye, a zero-

sum game already lost. Color proves
a fading target. It's through
a wide-ruled indigo grate
I trace what Newton said last: "as
to myself I seem to have
been only like a boy playing

on the seashore and diverting
myself now and then finding
a smoother pebble or a prettier shell
than the ordinary whilst the great ocean
of truth lay all undiscovered
before me." The sea is indigo.