Chagall’s Daphnis and Chloe
I cut away the woman sulking on the shore,
naked, dripping night-dark water, her face too green.
And the couple fucking
in the upper left-hand corner.
And the woman hunched over moon with her flute,
luring the man to her seat in the right side of sky,
where the heart would beat
if this picture had one.
But the man balding beautiful into baby, into “Christina
are you still awake?” head moon-bright, the man wading
in an exclamation of moonlight,
now spreading his arms out,
pressing down on the lake as if to lift himself up out of a manhole.
I left him there, unattended to, a treasure.
And the woman
was cold out of element, And the music sizzled in the coming sun.
And the couple wrestled with clouds and had no haven.
But the man
unmoored, man-star apart, I send to you, the selves cut away,
the heart’s odd ultimate art. An allowance carved of the card
you once sent. A token, rinsed of our intimacy. A wish.
Grow rich, and innocent, of me.
Original appearance in the Boston Review.