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LA VIE EN NOIR

You took your place in my shadows --
you, who have nothing to lose, and
I, who have nothing to gain --
since first fearing to leave my house

my television casts secrets,
blue glow of insomnia;
a car, its caverns and leathers
plows streets and rivers

my eyes stream rain, regrets --
which is sweeter?
puffs of mimosa or Africa at the end of a long pier,
a lake with a hippopotamus
 
sinking into forgetfulness
how I crossed the bridgeless waters
to an island someone named Utopia
unoriginal yet tender, like longing for peace

nights have flickered away my years;
days are pages stuck to their wrappers --
with tabloid stars scotch-taped over my mirrors
I fear the sun like the end of the world

yet tonight I see -- you are you:
a body conjured up by breeze and sheer curtains
filling, unfilling with air and ions;
myself under sheets, lying still, breathing.

 

February 10, 2003

Norman, Oklahoma