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Nocturne

                1.
Misty night mountain,
moon-shines through the cloud seams—
an old man walks alone and thinks
“You holy night, soon it will be over 
I will sleep the longer sleep, 
sleep softly in the midnight breezes 
while her sad last death leans towards me”
Sleeping pills knocked him out at night
kept him dazed in the day
Northeast winds, rocky wine-dark seas
“I see the nocturnal wily jaguars 
I seek the fierce white tiger in me 
Death is not the cruelest way 
to lose someone you love”
 
                2.
His mind knows what to do
but he doesn’t do it
Tough sun today, high skies...
“An ancient tribe—at night some take 
him out hunting where no one else can see 
They push him off a slick icy cliff 
and happily cleanse themselves of this liar”
He was the one who arranged all meetings and
engagements, always in public places where
he could gracefully escape
His tilted head, his tired face, 
the tense thick movements of his hands, 
all assert that he listens to his own taut voice 
and can barely hear another”
 
                3.
She said I talk too loud in restaurants
the way we Jews always do
The old dear thing had one WASP chin too many
“These words share no secrets— 
they’re just prayers to the bitchy slick goddess... 
Days of decadence, quicksilver fragile affections, 
heightened senses—incapable of love or hate”
Got him his sandwich—an individual can of tuna
with the oil drained, lettuce and tomato
on a roll—tried it myself once—not bad
“I don’t remember our last violin lesson 
but I remember him telling me of his plans to retire 
to Southern California—It’s just like Italy, he said, 
it’s like going back to Florence”
 
                4.
The horror is that cruelty and indifference thrived
where there should have been love,
like Rumanian orphans who have never been touched
The real diva was a sensational bore 
Unlike her re-creation on stage, that actress who brazenly puffs up her name 
Colorful fun tattoos like scars, up and down her wrinkled arms 
In life she can’t play the part”
When a squirrel jumps up from a garbage pail
with squinty rodent eyes, and thinning brown hairs
I don’t care, but rats do alarm me
“Morally ambiguous, ruthless 
Her tastes crude, her passions cold, 
said nothing then, because all talk is useless 
Her sore face bruised by his death”


-July 22, 2011-