[from Ange Mlinko's Starred Wire, Coffeehouse, 2005]
Color Deepening in Autumn Sweat
I believe we shall have our amethyst hair, our emerald hair,
In the future. Other than accepting what's in the air
As fog is to sea
Follows me around, a diagnosis
Rather than a symptom
Though even sound gets wet in rain. "What does it mean?"
That "dudgeon" afflicts me, though I should burgeon
Frosted in granulated sugar. Immortal trees they become,
As none are lonely, except maybe the docked baobab.
Taking it seriously,
The village that comes alive once a year
With gifts to buy.
An aunt and uncle live near it, with a little stream
That turns famous down the road. I am no more so
Than that river's much-diminished source I visit
Deep blue and cold,
An arpeggiated tuxedo shirt
With an inflatable guest bed in the brown and amethyst woods.
The little dunce doesn't know the clock of windows
Of his own house, so when I say "The ten a.m. room, if you please"
He stays poised at the top of the stair like an observatory,
Adumbrated with eyelashes.
Iseult's result doesn't match mine, so we re-set the mirrors up
To cascade the view of the future backwards:
Even the concrete sensitized with chips can't tell us
Where to go by sparkling; where we'd be yodels in a thermos
Keep on a bluff. Certain ratty violets
Festooned in a ronde macabre, a lab
Where the budgie's "Cranach, Cranach!" can't be prized
From my recurrent beefs occlude
My view of the sweet
hypoglycemic across the street.
In halting to hear the cries striated by the grate
wondering if their helps were true
at their height and heart together
like flowering coral quince --
I reached a rapprochement
with doubt as the crowd outspread, to and fro
making of space an integument.
The visiting lampposts can always take
their nineteenth-century light elsewhere
but me, I have to get bitten by one
and join the vampiry of lamps
gaslighting the pathetic fallacy skirts
girls wear under the weeping cherries
near deaf to chronology that cries
peering under their bangs to find
arcades are snowing every brick in their repertoire.
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