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The poem is about Fra AngelicoŐs fresco
The Mocking of Christ in San Marco,
the unbelievable green that you will
see nowhere else on this earth, I promise you.
No. The poem is not about that. Not today.
ItŐs about the daybed in Bologna
where Morandi lay plank-like
and the lemon light he made concrete
Yes, thatŐs where the poem is going
that rinsed dishwater light, heavenly
—no, scratch that.
The poem wants to tell you about Philip and Musa
Guston in their bed, foreheads locked
like magnets, how heŐs charging overnight on her
battery, her poetry warmly whirring.
Yes, thereŐs a wristwatch, right here.
ThatŐs definite. OK, let us proceed.
We were in bed, oh yes the postcard you
sent from Amsterdam of Saskia in her reverie
hand flopped on top of her head in an unselfconscious gesture
of love and tenderness the kind you hope you have
on your deathbed towards yourself
—no, the poem isnŐt inclined toward that, well,
in general terms it is, but as for this particular
poem, no. WeŐre not heading there.
For some reason, grandadŐs police badge is asserting itself.
It wants to come in right
Fair enough, there it is.
I hear a clatter of locks.
I hear grandadŐs police badge falling to the floor.
Undefended at last
effortless how you picked me.
I didnŐt know that when I started.
I just knew how much I really love the green in that fresco
I mentioned at the beginning.
And that I loved the words peplum, schwa and
boondocks and that IŐd like to have gotten them in somehow.
in The Irish Review, Winter 2008 (ed. Colin Graham)