The Great Medieval Yellows

Emily Wilson
Photo by Ryan McGuire

Massicot mosaic gold saffron buckthorn weld—
how to get your gilding on
it will not take part in
ruination of the blue.
Or drubbing through the known earths
in preparation for
the flesh
would it be upheld,
its chalcedony.
What you are here for
your ardent understanding of
what self in many
moving faculties
that make it so like self—
suckers through the roots of
the undulant woad
it has been living
all along
oxidizing under the topic
brilliance, hematite, lime white,
a little pinch in the dish
you have only to wait for it.

EMILY WILSON is the author of The Keep (2001) and Micrographia (2009), both from University of Iowa Press. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and two young sons.