Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Dry lightning sizzles the night.

Your umbrella fences toward

a foe's laminated heart. Touché

touches no one dancing in the rain.

My books spread across the hardwood

floor. Downpours push through the open

window, clouds gather above my desk.

I throw my nth draft against the wall to watch

it stick. Adhesion fades, words slither down

the drain. Red edits correct themselves. Revise,

rewrite, rewind. With time, we practice

French verbs under the portico. Conjugations

copulate, clipped accent marks mate in the air.

We sip shadows, then sun in Provençal markets.

Antique fountain pens stir indigo ink, wide margins

diet until slim, slip into new robes. White is so passé,

but ushers in the new black. I wear weather like a cloak.

It wraps around my knees, massages my neck.

O how the body knows it own, as we know ours.

Selves contain infinity, space-time, the Absolute, night.

Matter and spirit hunker down on the sideline: stuck inside

of Mobile with the Memphis blues again. We empty

cartridges of colors into the rusty well. Raise the bucket

to irrigate fleurs du mal, which sound almost human

as they start their day. Je vais, vous allez, nous

allons. Come, come, now, Baudelaire. Paint it black.

No more perfect opportunity arises than this opening

for those who stand and brush. No. 5, at four thousand

euros, shows that crime can pay: Keep one eye

on the easel, one hand in a pocket not your own. Bone

up on your idioms. The Idiot practices more devotion

to humanity than the grandest canvas. Night, too, reeks of black.

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