Jody Morris, "Greens and reds," 2010
Such costly, buttery jewels to fill crimped tin tubes, so precious we’d twist the caps too tight; the only way to set them loose was with heat from a sulfurous flame. A ragged matchbook from a dive bar and my clumsiness allowed no sophisticated gestures—strike once (dud), twice (dud), until the relief of a spark and flare. More than once I burnt my fingers trying to get a cap off too soon. The oily, golden under- belly of viridian, the joss stick coal that’s cadmium red, lit a fire in me to see all my paintbox gems arrayed on a glass palette, joy warming itself under a halogen light.