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I.

 

Black oozes from the threshold as
Two eyes peer over kneecaps in earnest.
Barefooted, barebacked, and porcelain.
Walls the color of war do not hide him from the limelight.
And the door is left open
And you crane your neck.

Shoulder blades protrude from snow
In sweeping sighs, on the verge of
A moan, beckoning for clean air, not saturated with crackling salt.
The floor disappears beneath callused heels.
Wide awake with urgent veins holding the rim of the bowl.
Fetal and shameful and awake,
Begging for the warmth of spring.

 

II.

Dying lightbulb looms over spilled ink.
A squinting pain that blinds him
And the warmth feels like ice, though not as before
Through stained glass at L’Église de Saint Germain des Prés.
Lamplight sheds on ruddy stains at the trim
While his ceramic jaw holds steadfast to the smell of smog
And a salty fog threatens the eyelids of the crouching figure.

No one said a word to the head bobbing on the carpet.
Instead, eyes disappeared behind flesh and turned black at his feet.
Rage smeared on the wall
and on the salted skin between lip and nostril.
Terra-cotta skull rests in his hands, balanced precariously.
Hollow throat begs for a dryer June.

 

III.

The lightbulb has since burst,
The porcelain cracked and yellowed.
Eyes red with flushed warmth curl beneath
Skin, amid vacant soul and the stench of stale sweat.
Oh, how Yeats longed for the politics
Which thaw the streams
And where rock is soothed behind the scattered glass
Below a bloodshot frenzy.

What bourbon awaits me
At the bottom of the drain?
You, old friend, take my eyes
So that I may replace who lies
On the bathroom floor
Of our room at L’Hôtel des Saints-Pères.

Triptych
Mayzie Sattler

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